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Book 58: Ice: Melting and Freezing

Levels: 1-2
Contextual strands: Material world icon. Material world , Physical world icon. Physical world


Ice and water are familiar and easily accessible substances for children to use to investigate the changes between solid and liquid states of matter.

Although water is a common substance on Earth, many of its properties are unusual. For example, water expands when it freezes, and so ice is less dense than liquid water. Most other substances in their liquid state contract when they freeze and become denser. Water is a convenient example of how every substance can occur as a solid, a liquid, and a gas. It occurs in all three states under ordinary conditions and can be readily converted from one state to another. Many substances only occur in one state under normal conditions. It is important to ensure that the children understand that some of the changes they observe with water may not apply to other substances.

Investigation into the gaseous state of water is not covered in this book. (See Where's the Water? Book 15, for information on evaporation and condensation.)

Concept overview

Use the concept overview, which is also on the inside front cover of the book, as a reference for the concepts that relate to Ice: Melting and Freezing.

PDF icon. Read the concept overview (PDF 61 KB)

Links with other titles in the series

This book is aimed at levels 1–2. It focuses on the properties that characterise liquid water and solid water (ice) and the conversion between these two states. This book can be used in conjunction with the following books at the same level:

  • Book 15: Where's the Water? , (L1-2, Material World, Physical World, Planet Earth and Beyond)
    which investigates the three states of water and the processes of evaporation and condensation
  • Book 37: Floating and Sinking , (L1-2, Physical World)
    which explores how objects behave in water

Further information and activities using ice and liquid water are included in the chapter "Science Focus: Water" in Making Better Sense of the Material World, Ministry of Education, 1998.

Assessment resources

Visit the 'Building Science Concept' page on the Assessment Resource Banks (ARB) website to find ARB resources that assess the 'big idea' learning outcomes referred to in the concept overview for this title.