Lesson Plan

Surface Tension

Dropping water on a penny to see surface tension in action

Students will be able to identify that surface tension is the skin-like surface that holds water together.

Students will be able to state that surface tension gets stronger with salt and weaker with soap. 

Grades 2 – 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/ Attention Getter

Free, Paid

Introduce the topic by showing a video of water bugs. How do you think that these water bugs stay on top of the water? 

Student Instructions

Take a quick survey on quizlet about their initial ideas of how water bugs stay on top of the water. 

How do you think water bugs stay on top of the water?

a) They're so fast they can't sink

b) They don't stay on the water, they sink

c)  The surface tension of the water holds them up

d) They are pulled upward by gravity 

2 Direct Instruction

Introduce the idea of surface tension. Have students use Vocabla to record definition of surface tension: The skin-like surface that holds water together. 

Student Instructions

Use Vocabla to record and understand the definition of surface tension 

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Exploring

Introduce the penny activity. Demonstrate for the class how to set up materials. Explain process of dropping one drop of water at a time very slowly. Make sure to count how many drops fit on the penny before the water spills over. 

Student Instructions

Listen and watch attentively.