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Properties of Water: Lesson for Kids

Properties of Water: Lesson for Kids
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  • 0:01 Water
  • 0:59 Water Polarity
  • 1:51 Surface Tension
  • 2:19 Capillary Action
  • 2:41 Density
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anna Reinking

Anni taught elementary school for eight years and is currently teaching college. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Water is all around us, but what is it, exactly? Find out what water is made of, how it nourishes plants, why ice cubes float, and more. Then take a fun quiz.

Water

Water is everywhere! It makes up our oceans, lakes, rivers, seas, and even over half of our bodies. Water is a colorless, clear, odorless, and tasteless liquid. It's something each one of us comes into contact with every day, from taking baths or showers to drinking water and going swimming on a hot day. But have you ever really thought about water? Water is pretty interesting if you start to ask yourself, 'What makes water, water?'

Water is created by bonding together very specific atoms. Atoms are very tiny things that, when joined together in certain ways, create everything we see around us. There are lots of different kinds of atoms. The atoms that are bonded to make water include two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. When they link together, you have a water molecule. These atoms are what gives water its special and unique characteristics, which we'll look at now.

Water Polarity

Water molecules are what is called polar. This means that one end of the water molecule is positively charged, and the other end is negatively charged. If you've ever looked at a battery, this is kind of what it's like: one end is positive and the other is negative. In a water molecule, the positive and negative charges are attracted to each other, which make the molecules stick together.

Water is also considered a universal solvent, or a substance that can dissolve other substances, which is affected by its polarity.

Have you ever put salt into water? Or watched food coloring get dropped into water? Both salt and food coloring dissolve in water, or become part of the water. However, that is not the case when you put oil in water. Water is a polar substance, and oil is a non-polar substance. So, instead of mixing, the oil floats on top of the water.

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