The Early Years: The Matter of Meltingby: Peggy Ashbrook

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This month's Early Years column reveals how establishing a shared language through experiences can help young students and teachers exchange ideas and information about science concepts. The experiences that occur as part of this month's activity exploring changes in states of matter are common in many cultures and childhoods. Bringing these experiences into the classroom makes them part of the classroom culture and provides an opportunity to teach vocabulary and begin building your shared language.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (5)
  • on Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:04 PM

Article had some great tip to help modify the science language for students who are learning the English language. I think that each tip could be modified for every grade. I always that literature at the beginning of a lesson could be an engagement but I also learned that it is a modification for students. It gives the students a narrative background of the science concept. Also great activity with matter and melting at the end!


  • on Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:59 AM

Melting is a hard concept for preschoolers to understand. This article gives several activity ideas for preschoolers to explore in order to understand melting. Safety precautions are discussed also. Measuring with a thermometer is introduced.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:34 PM

The term melting is obviously a change of state from solid to liquid. However, for young children observing melting can be used to learn how to use a thermometer and the concept of heat added causing that change in state. Through active motion children melt two different materials in their hands. Using a thermometer they record the difference in temperature between the children with the melted material versus those whose material didn’t melt. Comparing this data can lead to an understanding of why things melt.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:45 PM

This article details a simple activity that engages young students in a hands-on exploration of the states of matter. The article includes a lesson plan with extensions and a list of fiction and non-fiction trade books that relate to the states of matter. This lesson is sure to be a simple, yet effective way to teach young students of the states of matter.

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:05 PM

The difficulty young children have understanding the reversible change represented by melting is addressed using simple inexpensive materials. While the common confusion children have in distinguishing melting and dissolving is mentioned, a way to address through through demonstration is missing.

Pamela A
Pamela A

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