Sinking, melting and the Dead Sea

 In our lessons we try to combine scientific experiments with some interesting information concerning the world. This time we have decided to familiar kids with an idea of sinking and floating, and tell them a bit about the Dead Sea.

Prior knowledge  – Cognition/Communication

TIME: 10 mins

Ask Ss to walk around the classroom and bring a few objects they might throw into water. Beforehand, prepare a large, transparent bowl filled with water.
Ask Ss to classify the objects into two categories - what will float and what will sink in their opinion.
The good idea will be to prepare two big writings or containers where they could place the objects. Ask them to name each of the objects.

TASK 1 – Cognition/Communication/Content

 TIME: 10 mins

Ask Ss to drop the objects one after another into the bowl to observe whether they float or sink. Ss should now check if their guesses were correct. If not, they should place the objects on the right side.

TASK 2 - Cognition/Communication/Content

 TIME: 2 mins

Tell your students why things float or sink. Below we put a scientific explanation of the phenomenon. Definitely the adjustment to your Ss' level of English will be required.

Things float or sink because of density. Density is a measure of how much mass per volume; we use grams (g) per cubic centimetre (cc). Fresh water has a density of t, that is, 1 gram per cc. If an object has a density less than 1, it floats. If it has a density greater than 1, if sinks. For example, iron has a density of 7.8, so it would sink.

TASK 3 - Cognition/Communication/Content

TIME: 10 mins

Add some salt to the water. Repeat the experiment. Are there any changes? Notice that the more salt you add, the more objects float. Explain that salt increases density of water.
IMPORTANT! Remember to do this part of the lesson beforehand to test whether you have an object that will actually stop sinking after adding salt to the water. That might be a grape etc. If you don't have such one, think about doing a different experiment, e.g. with an egg.

TASK 4 - Cognition/Communication/Content

TIME: 10 mins

Present visual material (photos) and a map. And talk about the Dead Sea. Information adjusted to kids' level of English you can find below. If it is still too difficult remember that in CLIL the use of L1 in such situations is allowed.


TASK 5 - Communication/Culture

TIME: 5 mins

Ss are divided into groups of 5-8 people. One person in each groups lies on the floor, the rest lifts him/her up to the hip level. Teacher accompanies to secure safety. the idea is to let them feel as if they were lying on the surface of the Dead Sea. You can swing a person to make a storm ;)

In our case this was a group of 9 children so we played all together. This task was the best ingredient of the lesson. Everyone had fun that you can see in the photos.

TASK 6 - Communication/Content

TIME: 10 mins

Ts can prepare an oral or written test based on the content presented during the lesson then ask Ss to do it at the lesson as a form of evaluation. The test to be checked together.


Ts distribute the printouts from Science 2 by Macmillan and ask Ss to do the exercises. Group evaluation.
We have decided to do the other one and it hit the jackpot. This book was very helpful to gather all the information from the lesson.

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