Use Clues to Solve an Ice Mystery

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Learners explore the variables that affect the properties of ice and the places where different types of ice are found. Using evidence from informational text and multiple media resources, as well as their own observations, learners will match six different mystery ice types to the place where each would most likely be found. Recipes for creating six different simulated ice types are provided.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
2 to 4 hours

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • ice cube trays
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sand or dirt
  • 500 ml tap water
  • 500 ml distilled water
  • microwave-safe container for heating water
  • access to spacious freezer
  • towels for cleanup
  • dry ice (for transport, optional)
  • Student Handout - Ice Observation Sheet


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • 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


  • Zych, Ariel


  • All rights reserved, Science Friday,