Density Lesson Plan

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

This lesson introduces students to the formula for density, allows them to practice, and then finishes with a lab where students calculate the densities of various substances and then make predictions about how those substances will layer when mixed.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • calculate the density of liquids and solids when given the mass and volume
  • calculate the density of solids by calculating the volume (measuring the length, width, and height) and determining the mass by using a balance
  • calculate the density of liquids by measuring the volume using a graduated cylinder and determining the mass by using a balance
  • make predictions about how liquids will layer and if a solid will float based on the calculated densities

Length

  • 80-100 minutes for grades 7-9

Materials

  • Calculators
  • Pencils/Paper
  • A pre-made worksheet (one for every pair of students). The worksheet will be divided down the middle with density problems on both sides. One side is for Student 1 and one side is for Student 2. Sample problems may include:
    • Calculate the density of a cube that has the following dimensions: height=5 meters, width=10 meters and length=3 meters. The mass of the cube is 40 grams.
    • Calculate the density of a liquid that has the following measurements: mass is 5 grams and volume is 10 milliliters.
  • Graduated cylinders
  • Balances
  • Metric ruler
  • Several substances to calculate density (this list can vary depending upon what you have available). Some recommendations:
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Water (you may want to add food coloring to make it more visible)
    • Cooking oil
    • Syrup
    • Tiny cubes of various objects such as wood, aluminum, and lead

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9

Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.7

Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.

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