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Analyzing Root Beer Floats (1 Favorite)

ACTIVITY in Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Matter, Kitchen Chemistry, Kitchen Chemistry - Elementary School. Last updated March 25, 2020.


Summary

In this activity students will observe the states of matter while making a root beer float. They will also discover the differences between a solid, a liquid and a gas.

Grade Level

Elementary School

Objectives

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • Understand what chemical and physical changes occur when ice cream is added to root beer as it relates to the states of matter.
  • Identify and describe the physical properties of matter in its various states.
  • Distinguish between the states of matter, and give examples of each.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • States of matter
  • Physical Properties
  • Physical change
  • Chemical change

Time

Teacher Preparation: 15 minutes

Lesson: 1 hour

Materials

  • Root beer (8 cups in each 2 liter bottle)
  • Vanilla ice cream (1 gallon=32 scoops)
  • 1 cup measuring cups, 1 per group
  • Ice cream scoop, 1 per group
  • Plastic cups, 1 per student
  • Straws, 1 per student

Safety

  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.
  • This activity is suitable for Grade levels 1-5

Teacher Notes

  • This activity is suitable for Grade levels 1-5
  • Depending on student’s age you may want to pre-scoop ice cream into another container.
  • Brain pop Jr. has these helpful video to introduce the concepts of physical and chemical changes as well as the states of matter.
  • Introduce lesson: Indicate to students that they will observe 3 states of matter today. Discuss the differences of solids, liquids, and gases. Explain chemical and physical changes. Physical changes can happen when matter changes size, shape, or form. After a substance goes through a chemical change, it becomes a different substance.
  • Introduce Vocabulary:
    • Physical change: matter changes size, shape, or form.
    • Chemical change: a substance becomes a different substance.
    • Physical properties: used to observe and describe matter.
    • Solid: has a definite shape and volume.
    • Liquid: has a definite volume but it takes the shape of a container.
    • Gas: fills the entire volume of a container.
  • Depending on the age of the students, you may want to discuss the pre-lab questions as a class or ask students to complete them independently.
  • Procedure:
    • Create an anchor chart with the students after discussing the differences in solids, liquids, and gases. (Draw a melting/evaporating ice cube and ask them to help you label each state)
    • Have students make a drawing of their cups or give them the student worksheet. Tell them they will be recording their results/labeling and adding things to the picture of the cup as we complete the activity.
    • Before you begin make sure that students remember to pour slowly because of the bubbles that will be created. Also make sure to set up paper towels for accidents-This part can get messy.
    • Have the student’s take turns measuring 1 cup of root beer and pour ½ of it into cup. Discuss what physical properties make the root beer a liquid. Have them draw and label the liquid on their picture.
    • Have students discuss what physical properties make the ice cream a solid. Then have them add two scoops of ice cream. Depending on the students age you may want to have extra help with this if possible or pre-scoop the ice cream so that they can just add it to the cup. Have them draw and label the solid on their picture.
    • Have them slowly add more root beer to the cup and observe what happens.
    • Discuss what physical properties make the foam a gas. Have them draw and label the gas on their picture.
    • What is produced? Is this a physical or chemical change? It is a chemical change, because a new substance (the gas) was formed and cannot easily be separated.
    • Students can drink their floats while they discuss the activity. Afterwards, have the students write an explanation as to what has changes occurred and why.
      • Note: Ice cream = solid; Root beer = liquid; Air bubbles = gas

For the Student

Background

Physical changes can happen when matter changes size, shape, or form. After a substance goes through a chemical change, it becomes a different substance.

Pre-lab Questions

  • What are some examples of physical and chemical changes?
  • What are some examples of a solid? A liquid? A gas?

CaptureProcedure

  1. You will observe, draw, and label the solid, liquid, and gas produced while making a root beer float. Follow your teacher’s directions to make the root beer float.
  2. Enjoy your float while you discuss what happened with your group.
  3. Write a brief explanation about what occurred and why.
  4. Describe the physical properties of matter in its various states.

State of Matter

Physical Properties

Solid

Liquid

Gas