In partnership with the Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Institute of Physics

Melting ice

This lesson is designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using a ‘predict-observe-explain’ framework.

Students often think that some materials are intrinsically warm (wood, plastic, wool) while others are intrinsically cold (metals, glass, water). This lesson challenges these ideas by presenting observations which many will find counter-intuitive. Through argumentation, students predict the outcome of an experiment, observe the result, and discuss how scientific ideas about energy transfer can explain what they see.

Download resources

Resources for this lesson comprise: two student sheets; teacher guidance; practical guidance; and a presentation. You should also read our standard health & safety guidance.

Quick start guide

For support in using the argumentation approach and to find out more about the research behind it, refer to our quick start guide