Evaporation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

This lesson introduces students to evaporation. Students will experiment with hand sanitizer and paint with water to explore evaporation. An extension activity is included to test the evaporate rates of different liquids in various conditions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • define and describe evaporation
  • identify examples of evaporation
  • explain the relationship between temperature and the rate of evaporation


2+ hours (plus additional time for extension activity)

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


  • Hot plate
  • Pot
  • Small bottles of hand sanitizer
  • Stopwatches
  • Construction paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper cups
  • Salt (optional)
  • Lab notebooks
  • Copies of video transcript/lesson quiz (optional)
  • Clean cups (extension activity)
  • Different types of liquids (extension activity)
  • Markers (extension activity)

Key Vocabulary

  • Evaporation


  • Fill a pot with water and show the students. Boil the pot of water on a hot plate until there is visible steam. Ask the students to observe the pot and think about where the steam is coming from. Take the pot off the hot plate and show them the level of water in the pot. Ask them to guess where the water went.
  • Inform the students that evaporation caused the steam and the water level to lower in the pot.
  • Play the video lesson What is Evaporation? - Definition and Examples. Consider providing the students with printed copies of the video transcript to follow along with during the lesson.
    • What is evaporation?
    • At what temperature does water start to evaporate?
    • What causes the rate of evaporation to increase?
    • Where does most evaporation occur?
    • What is a byproduct of evaporation that we use when cooking? How is it formed?
    • What are some examples of evaporation in your home?
  • Check for understanding by having the student complete the lesson quiz online or using printed copies.


Evaporation on Your Hands

  • Divide the class into pairs and give each pair a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a stopwatch. Make sure the students have their lab notebooks to record their data.
  • Have one student start the stopwatch when the other student squeezes a small amount of hand sanitizer onto their hands and rubs them together three times. The student with the hand sanitizer on their hands should hold their hands still until their hands are dry. When that occurs, the other student will stop the stopwatch and record the time.
  • The students will switch roles and repeat the experiment again.
  • Each student will complete the experiment again; however, this time they will continue to rub their hands together until they are dry and record the time it takes.
  • Discuss the following questions with the students:
    • What happened to the hand sanitizer? This is a perfect time to remind students that other liquids besides water can also evaporate.
    • Which application was quicker to evaporate, when you rubbed your hands three times or when you rubbed them continuously? Why do you think this happened?

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