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Water Body Salinities II

Source Institutions

    New Jersey Department of Education

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Water Body Salinities II

In this activity, learners discuss the different salinities of oceans, rivers and estuaries. Learners then use experimentation to determine which sample is the best model of each type of natural water source. For the first test, learners make a hydrometer and use it to measure the density of the liquid samples. In the second test, learners freeze the water samples and examine them at certain time intervals to check degree of freezing, texture of the frozen samples, and other specifics that vary according to the amount of salt in the water. This activity can follow the Water Salinities I activity and/or be used in conjunction with the Estuaries activity, both of which can be found on SMILE.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 3 1000-mL graduated cylinders or 2-liter soda bottle
  • distilled water
  • kosher salt
  • 4 16-oz cups
  • 3 9-oz plastic cups
  • real hydrometer (optional)
  • balance
  • plasticine or clay
  • drinking straw, clear
  • ruler
  • permanent marker
  • tap water
  • small nails to fit inside straw
  • 375 mL water samples (3)
  • paper towels
  • 250 mL water samples (3)
  • plastic ice cube tray
  • freezer
  • thermometers
  • student journals and writing tools


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All Rights Reserved, State of New Jersey, ©2006

Funding Source:

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001


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