Properties of Water


Properties of Water (3rd-5th)

Students will explore several of the unique properties of water — cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension — through a series of investigations. Then, using a pipe cleaner model, they will visualize how water molecules attract each other through hydrogen bonding. Lastly, students may synthesize these concepts with an optional demonstration of water adhering to a string as it is poured between two containers. This lesson requires water (not included).

SKU: Chem-PropWater Category: Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Lesson Overview

Students will:

  • Participate in droplet observation activities
  • Carry out investigations of three properties of liquids: cohesion, surface tension, and adhesion
  • Direct the instructor to model the interactions of water molecules represented by pipe cleaners
  • Observe Traveling Water Demonstration (video with scientist-led discussion)

Lesson Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Carry out investigations to observe the effects of cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension
  • Use their understanding of these properties to explain phenomena observed both in the lesson and in their life experience

This lesson is aligned with these Next Generation Science (NGS) Standards.

Standards Covered

Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI)

PS1 Matter and its Interactions – PS1.A Structure of Matter

  • (3rd-5th) Because matter exists as particles that are too small to see, matter is always conserved even if it seems to disappear. Measurements of a variety of observable properties can be used to identify particular materials.

Science & Engineering Practice (SEP) 

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

  • (3rd-5th) Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Crosscutting Concept (CCC)

Structure and Function

  • (3rd-5th) Different materials have different substructures, which can sometimes be observed.
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