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1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th



Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 120 minutes
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Experiments
  • Assessments

Regional Focus




Evaporation Investigation

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  • In this lesson, students will complete two simple experiments to help them understand evaporation.
  • Students will observe what happens to the water level in a container over time, discover that only the water in saltwater will evaporate, record data, and discuss findings.
Teaching Tips


  • Most of the materials for this experiment are easy to find and may already be on hand.
  • The resource provides rich background information the teacher can use to deepen their understanding of the concepts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The reference links on page two are broken, however, these links aren't necessary for completing the lesson.
  • Some students may need the terms evaporation, precipitation, and condensation defined before beginning the lesson.


  • These experiments would fit well with an extended unit on the water cycle to help students better conceptualize evaporation.
  • Some students may need pictures and diagrams to understand what happens to water when it evaporates.
  • Teachers can extend the portion where students create saltwater paint art to introduce students to artwork that uses science ideas as inspiration. Students can also look at other watercolor pieces for inspiration.
  • Extend this lesson by reading a story about weather, precipitation, or the water cycle.
  • Teachers can discuss how the water cycle is affected by rising temperatures, mentioning extreme weather events and increased evaporation as a result of climate change.
Scientist Notes

This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 5-ESS2-1 Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • 5-PS1-3 Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
    • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
      • 5-PS2-1 Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Measurement & Data (K-5)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.C.4 Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.D.10 Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.
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