Lesson Overview

 20 Minutes

 Science

 4th - 8th Grade

 State Standards:
ELA.W.7.1b, ELA.RST.7.3, ELA.RST.7.7

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Materials List

  • One large, clear plastic container
  • Honey
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water colored with food coloring
  • Variety of small objects. Nuts, grapes, dried pasta, small plastic toys, metal nuts or washers, cherry tomatoes.

Honey Density Lesson

Categories: Food & Nutrition , Math & Measurements , Science

A fun and engaging experiment that helps students explore the topic of density.

Preparation and Discussion

Gather the materials you will need to conduct this experiment. Then ask these questions: Have you ever wondered why many salad dressings have to be shaken before poured onto your salad? Or have you ever noticed that ice cream floats on top of root beer? Why is this? What is density? Are all liquids of the same amount the same weight? Will certain liquids support the weight of an object while others will let it sink?

Lesson Procedures

  • Have the students predict the outcome of pouring the three liquids together.
  • Pour the oil, colored water and the honey into the clear container.
  • Have students observe the side of the container. What is happening? The liquids separate into three layers, with the honey on the bottom, the water in the middle and the oil on top. Liquids do this because some of them are lighter or less dense than others. A lighter liquid will float on top of a heavier or more dense liquid.
  • Once the layers have separated, gently drop different objects into the container to see what floats. What happens? Some of the objects will sink to the bottom. Others will float at different levels depending on how heavy they are. Objects float best in dense liquids because these support their weight.
  • As a class or as a home project, let students try the same experiment with other liquids such as salt water, rubbing alcohol, etc. Ask them to first predict the outcomes.
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