Lesson overview for Teachers

View the video below to view what you and your college student will perform in this lesson.

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Downloadables:Lesson plan (PDF) |Student task Sheet (PDF) |Student reading (PDF) |Teacher lift (PDF) |Connections to NGSS (PDF)


Students will have the ability to explain the the density of a liquid needs to do through how hefty it is because that the sample size. Student will additionally be maybe to define that if a liquid is more dense than water, it will sink when added to water, and also if the is less dense than water, it will float.

Key Concepts

A liquid, similar to a solid, has actually its very own characteristic density.The thickness of a liquid is a measure up of how heavy it is for the lot measured. If you weigh equal amounts or volumes of two different liquids, the liquid the weighs more is an ext dense.If a liquid that is less dense than water is gently added to the surface ar of the water, it will certainly float top top the water. If a liquid that is more dense 보다 water is included to the surface ar of the water, it will certainly sink.

Note: us are deliberately using the state “size” and also “amount” instead of “volume” in this lesson around density. We are likewise using “heavy”, “light”, and “weight” rather of “mass”. If your students have currently learned the definitions of volume and mass, friend can conveniently use those terms to specify density (Density = mass/volume), and also then use those terms in this lesson.

NGSS Alignment

NGSS 5-PS1-3:Make observations and also measurements to recognize materials based on their properties.


In the previous lesson, college student learned that density has to perform with exactly how heavy an item or substance is loved one to that is size, and also that density determines whether an object sinks or floats. Students additionally observed that you deserve to compare the density of a substance to the density of water by to compare the weights that equal quantities of the substance and water utilizing a balance.

In this lesson:

As a demonstration, the teacher will certainly compare the weight of an equal amount or volume the water and also corn syrup so students have the right to observe the corn syrup is much more dense 보다 water and sinks.Students will certainly compare the weight of an equal amount or volume of water and vegetable oil and see the vegetable oil is less thick than water and also floats.Students include corn syrup come layered oil and water and also see the corn syrup sinks below both the oil and also water.


Download the student task sheet (PDF)and distribution one per student once specified in the activity. The task sheet will certainly serve together the advice component the the 5-E class plan.


Make sure you and your student wear appropriately fitting security goggles. Isopropyl “rubbing” alcohol is a flammable liquid. Keep away indigenous heat, sparks, open up flames, and hot surfaces. Isopropyl alcohol is additionally irritating come eyes and also skin, and may reason drowsiness or dizziness ifinhaled. Job-related with isopropil alcohol in a well-ventilated room. Read and follow every warnings ~ above the label.

Clean-up and also Disposal

Remind college student to wash their hand after perfect the activity. All common household or great materials have the right to be conserved or disposed the in the usual manner.


Water2 clear plastic cupsCorn syrup (Karo syrup), 1 cupFood coloringPopsicle pole or plastic spoonVegetable oilIsopropyl “rubbing” alcohol (70%)Ice cubesBalance

Teacher Preparation

Pour 50 mL the corn syrup, 50 mL that water, and also 50 mL of vegetables oil right into three plastic cup for each group.

Note: Corn syrup and vegetable oil can be difficult to clean out of i graduated cylinders. To stop this mess, measure and pour 50 mL the water into each of three plastic cups. Then note the exterior of every cup to suggest the level that the fluid in every cup. Pour out the water from 2 of the cups and dry the inside with a file towel. Next, use those cup to measure up the quantity of corn syrup and also vegetable oil because that each group. Include 1 drop of food coloring come the corn syrup.

Each team will need 50 mL that corn syrup, 50 mL of water, and also 50 mL of vegetable oil in separate cups.

For the demonstration, friend will require 50mL the water and also 50 mL of corn syrup (colored v 1 drop of food coloring) in different cups.



1. Do a demonstration to compare the density of corn syrup and also water.

Materials for the demonstration:Water in a clear plastic cup¼ cup corn syrup (Karo syrup) with food colour in a clean plastic cupPopsicle pole or plastic spoonGraduated cylinder or beakerBalanceProcedureHold up two cups and tell students the you have actually water in one cup and the exact same amount or volume the corn syrup (colored blue) in the various other cup.Place the cup on opposite end of a balance.Expected results

The corn syrup is heavier, which shows that that is much more dense than water.


Ask students:Since we weighed equal quantities and the corn syrup to be heavier, is water or corn syrup an ext dense? Corn syrup is much more dense 보다 water.Predict what will take place if us pour the corn syrup right into the water. Will the corn syrup rise or sink when included to the water? The corn syrup should sink in the water.Pour the colored corn syrup right into the cup include water tosee if the corn syrup floats or sinks in the water.Expected result

It will sink.The corn syrup sink in the water.

Give each student an activity Sheet (PDF).

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Students will document their observations, and answer questions around the activity on the activity sheet.