Liquid Density Magic

Liquid Density Magic

Short description
Full description
Short description

Liquid Density Magic

Type of resource: Websites

Web address

Language: English


Investigating density in liquids and solids

Scientific concept introduced

Exploring how the density of a liquid affects how it behaves with other liquids and solids

Creative and critical thinking

Critical Thinking:


2. Prediction

Creative Thinking:

1. Curiosity

Mathematical reasoning

1. Measuring
2. Counting

Scientific thinking

1. Observing
2. Explaining
3. Predicting
4. Comparing
5. Analysing
6. Drawing conclusions

Learning how to learn

1. Following guidelines
2. Active listening
3. Self-efficacy in learning
4. Engagement in learning
5. Reflection on learning


1. Collaborative skills such as turn-taking
2. Oral language development
3. Literacy – vocabulary development

Full description

Liquid Density Magic

Overall aims

• to enable pupils to investigate density in liquids and solids
• to enable pupils to investigate the properties and characteristics of honey, oil and water
• to develop pupils’ skills in listening and following guidelines
• to develop pupils’ skills in observing and predicting
• to develop pupils’ skills in measuring
• to develop pupils’ skills in turn-taking
• to develop pupils’ expressive language skills

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

density, water, honey, oil, sticky, oily, liquid, solid, mix, float, sink

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

• The child will be enabled to:
• follow instructions for the experiment
• identify properties and characteristics of honey, oil and water
• make observations and predictions during the experiment
• practise counting to ten
• draw the results of their experiment

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to


• Observing
• Explaining
• Predicting
• Curiosity
• Counting
• Comparing
• Measuring
• Analysing
• Drawing conclusions


• Active listening
• Self-efficacy in learning
• Engagement in learning
• Reflection on learning
• Following guidelines
• Oral language
• Literacy - vocabulary development

• Collaborative skills like turn-taking

Teaching methodologies/activity outline

Teacher Note:
Explaining density - if an object is heavy and compact like a brick or a rock, it has high density but if an object is light and not compact like a feather or a sponge, it has a low density.

1. Show pupils a jar of honey, glass of water and bottle of oil.
2. Elicit pupils’ knowledge about the properties and characteristics of honey, water and oil.
Sample Questions: What do we use honey/oil/water for? Where does honey come from? Can we pour honey/oil/water? Are they solids or liquids? Describe how they feel to touch? (sticky, oily).
3. Explain to pupils that they are going to do an experiment about floating and sinking with honey, oil and water. Elicit pupils’ understanding of the terms ‘float’, ‘sink’ and ‘mix’.

(Ask pupils to work in groups of 4 or 5, reminding them to take turns)


Materials: (per group)
• A jug of Water
• A jug of oil (Vegetable or Olive)
• Dark food colouring
• Honey
• A tablespoon
• A grape
• A marble
• A piece of Lego
• A small piece of foam
• A clear cup

1. Before you begin practise counting to 10.
2. Then ask pupils to carefully count and pour in 8 tablespoons of water into the cup. (Use 6 tablespoons if the cup is small. Adjust measurements for oil and honey similarly). Instruct pupils to pour in a few drops of food colouring into the water too.
3. Then ask pupils to pour in 8 tablespoons of honey.
Sample Question: What happened to the honey? Did it mix with the water? Did it sink? Did it float?

4. Next ask pupils to pour in 8 tablespoons of oil. Leave the solution for about 1o minutes so that the liquids can settle.
Sample questions: What happened to the oil? Did it mix, sink, or float?

The Science behind it:
The liquids don’t mix because they all have different density, so instead they remain in separate layers. The honey sits on the bottom because it has the highest density, while the oil sits on the top because it has the lightest density of the three liquids.

5. Explain to pupils that you’re going to test to see what happens to a marble, grape, Lego and foam when placed in the mixture. Ask the pupils to guess what they think will happen first and then to test each object. Do they float or sink?

Marble - sinks to the very bottom
Grape - sits on top of the honey
Lego - sits on top of the water
Foam - sits on top on the oil
Discuss, explaining that if an object has more density than another object, it will sink.
For example, the marble is very dense so it sinks to the bottom but the foam on the other hand sits on top of the oil because the oil has more density than the foam.

1. Ask pupils to draw a diagram of the results, showing the different layers and position
of the objects. Pupils in older classes can label their diagrams.

Assessment of learning

Pupil observation and pupils’ diagram of results

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

For the teacher:
• Jar of honey
• Glass of water
• Bottle of oil


For pupils: (per group)
• A jug of Water
• A jug of oil (Vegetable or Olive)
• Dark food colouring

• Honey
• A tablespoon
• A grape
• A marble
• A piece of Lego
• A small piece of foam
• A clear cup

Kind of setting


References - source


Liquid Density Magic

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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