Investigating why Jelly Sets

Investigating why Jelly Sets

Short description
Full description
Short description

Investigating why Jelly Sets

Type of resource:  Website

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Language: English 


Investigating why jelly sets

Scientific concept introduced

Changes of state

Creative and critical thinking

Critical Thinking:

- Prediction

- Explanation

- Suggest hypotheses

Creative Thinking:

- Making

Mathematical reasoning

- Measuring

- Sequencing

- Counting

- Shape

Scientific thinking

- Questioning

- Making

- Observing

- Predicting

- Drawing conclusion

- Recording

Learning how to learn

- Following guidelines

- Engagement in learning

- Reflection on learning


- Oral language - listening and following instructions

- Cooking skill of mixing and stirring

- Hand-eye coordination

- Safety in the kitchen

Full description

Investigating why Jelly Sets

Overall aims

● to enable pupils to investigate changes of states using jelly
● to develop pupils’ skills in listening and following instructions
● to develop pupils’ cooking skills of mixing and stirring
● to develop pupils’ skills in observing, predicting and hypothesising
● to develop pupils’ skills in measuring, counting, sequencing and shape
● to develop pupils’ skills in recording

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

Jelly, gelatin, cubes, square, heat, cool, melt, mix, wobbly, squishy, soft, taste

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

The child will be enabled to:
- follow instructions for making jelly
- explore how jelly can change from a solid to a liquid state
- practice the skill of stirring and mixing
- identify a square and cube shape
- share out jelly cubes evenly in their group
- make observations about how ingredients react and change
- work together in small groups
- graphically record their results

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to


● Asking questions
● Explaining
● Observing
● Predicting
● Hypothesising
● Measuring
● Counting
● Sequencing
● Shape
● Making
● Recording the investigation procedure and results graphically
● Drawing conclusions


● Following guidelines
● Engagement in learning
● Reflection on learning
● Oral Language
● Cooking skills of stirring and mixing
● Hand-eye coordination
● Drawing
● Following rules of safety
● Group work

Teaching methodologies/activity outline

Teacher Note: Begin this investigation at the beginning of the day, as the jelly will
need about 4 hours to set in the fridge.



Inform pupils that they’re going to be making jelly today. Elicit pupils’ experience
and knowledge of jelly. Sample Questions: What is jelly? What does it look like?
Does all jelly taste the same? Have you ever helped to make jelly? What do you
like to eat with jelly?



(Ask pupils to work in groups, reminding them to take turns).


Materials: (per group)

- A measuring jug
- 1 packet of jelly (e.g. strawberry, orange, lemon, blackcurrant or raspberry)


Part 1

1. Ask pupils to work in groups of about 6 pupils. Give each group a different type
of jelly (e.g. strawberry, orange, lemon, blackcurrant, raspberry). The packet
should have 12 cubes of jelly.
2. Ask pupils to take turns feeling the jelly and to describe how it looks and feels,
for example, wobbly, squishy, soft, red, orange etc. Inform pupils that this jelly is
what we call in a solid form.
3. Ask pupils questions about the jelly cubes, introducing the concept of a cube.
Sample questions: Can you find any shapes? (i.e. a square on the face of the
jelly cubes), How many squares are there at the top of the jelly? How many
cubes are there?
4. Ask each group to share the jelly cubes out - how many will they each get? (2
each if they are working in groups of 6).

5. Ask them to place the cubes in their measuring jug.
6. Teacher (or other adult) adds boiling water (quantity as per packet instruction)
and stirs. Once mixture has cooled and it’s safe, pupils can take turns stirring
7. Ask pupils to observe the mixture and keep stirring until all the jelly is stirred in.
Discuss what has happened to the jelly cubes
Sample questions: what has happened to the jelly cubes? (they have
dissolved), has the colour changed? Is the jelly still a solid? (Now it’s in liquid
8. Then ask pupils to take turns pouring in cold water on top of the mixture
(quantity as per packet instruction).
9. Place in the fridge for about 4 hours to set.


Part 2

10. Then ask pupils, looking at their jug of jelly, to describe how it is different
than/the same as it was before.
11. Ask each pupil in their group, to take a small handful of jelly and to feel it now.
Does it feel the same as before? What’s the same/different? Is it still a liquid?
12. So why does jelly set?
Jelly in the packet is what we call a solid. It contains something called gelatin.
When the gelatin is heated and mixed with the water, the gelatin starts to
come apart so that the jelly from the packet melts and becomes a liquid. Then
as the jelly cools the gelatin starts to come together again and makes the jelly



Ask pupils to draw a diagram describing the state of the jelly at each step of the
experiment and sequencing it in the correct order to show how it changed from
solid to liquid to solid again, for example: Step 1 -> Step 2 -> Step 3

Assessment of learning

Pupil observation sheet

Equipment and materials to be used in learning unit (tools, ingredients etc)

Each group will need:
A measuring jug
1 packet of jelly (e.g. strawberry, orange, lemon, blackcurrant or raspberry)

Kind of setting

Kitchen or classroom with cooking facilities (i.e. hot stove)

References - source



Investigating why Jelly Sets

1. Usefulness for STEM education - integrating content of different disciplines

Cross-curricular character of the resource 


The range of S-T-E-M subjects included 


The presentation of possibilities of including artistic activities (STEAM approach)




2. Expected learning outcomes

Consistency (links) with preschool core curriculum


Communicativeness of description


3. Methodology of teaching

Clarity, communicativeness of instructions for teachers


Meaningful learning - using practical life problems




Original idea 




The level of ease in implementing the methodology to preschool age children


The level of ease in preparing necessary ingredients, materials and equipment needed


4. Sustainability

Ecological characteristics of materials/ results


Supporting healthy eating habits 


Low ecological footprint


Possibilities of inclusion (respecting cultural diversity and food intolerances)


5. Class management

Using differentiated forms of work - individual, team work etc.


Individual work





Team work





Whole group




6. Time management


Short activity (10-15 minutes)




Medium activity (20-30 minutes)




Long activity (1 hour or more)




Very long activity (1 day or more)

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