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Book 37: Floating and Sinking: How Objects Behave in Water

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


This book focuses on the popular topic of floating and sinking. The medium of water has been chosen because children have many water-related experiences and are familiar with observing:

  • how they themselves float or sink in water (in their bathtub, a swimming pool, a river, or the ocean)
  • what happens when they put everyday items, such as sticks, balls, toys, boats, paper, or stones into water, that is, whether the objects float or sink.

Floating and Sinking is aimed at levels 1 and 2. It provides opportunities for children to directly observe how everyday objects behave in water and to investigate the factors that determine whether an object will float or sink.

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 Floating and Sinking: How Objects Behave in Water.

PDF icon. Read the concept overview (PDF 63 KB)

Links with other titles in the series

The concepts in this book are extended in:

Additional information and activities on this topic can be found in the chapter Gravity and Flotation in Making Better Sense of the Physical World (Ministry of Education, 1999).

Assessment resources

Search the science section of the Assessment Resource Banks (ARB) website to find resources that assess the 'big idea' learning outcomes referred to in the concept overview for this title.