Force, Motion and Energy

Ice Melting Blocks

Force, Motion and Energy

Duration: 30 minutes

  • 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. 
  • 4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.*

By the end of this lesson, the student should able to:

  • Recognize the materials that conduct heat more easily than some other materials. 

melt   materials   warm    cold

Lesson Plan

Lesson Introduction – Engage 1

Duration: 15 min

Prepare before lesson:

  • Obtain the Ice Melting Blocks product OR Prepare a metal plate and a wooden block. Note that there are two identical-looking blocks.
  • Digital thermometer 
  • Ice cubes


Information for teacher:

Although the blocks have the same temperature, one block absorbs or transfers heat from its surroundings more readily than the other. This block feels cold to the touch because it absorbs heat from our bodies. The ice cubes on the “cold” block quickly melt, much faster than the ice cubes on the “warm” block. Melting ice requires heat. The “cold” block is a heat conductor and easily transfers heat energy to the ice cubes to melt the ice. An insulator will not easily lose heat to its surroundings. The “warm” block is an insulator and does not provide the heat needed to melt the ice cubes.

  • Ice melting blocks / metal plate / wooden block
  • Paper towel
  • Digital thermometer
  • Welcome students to class.
  • Present two identical looking black blocks or one metal (aluminum) block and one wooden block. Have students feel the blocks. 
  • Elicit from students:


Do the blocks feel different?

Which feels cooler?

Which feels warmer?


  • Get students to predict which block will melt an ice cube faster. Have them share their answers and explain why they made the prediction. 
  • Measure the surface temperature of each block using a digital thermometer. The temperature of both blocks should be the same, at or near ambient room temperature.
  • Place one or two ice cubes on each block. 
  • Observe whether the ice cubes melt. 
  • Elicit from students:


Is your prediction correct? What did you observe?

What do you think caused this to happen?


  • Get students to discuss in groups for 5 minutes and share their answers with the class.
  • Lead the students to discover that the plates are made of different materials (wood / metal). Have them also discuss why different materials will cause the ice cubes to melt slower.

Engage 2

Duration: 15 min

Prepare before lesson 

  • 3 spoons of different material (metal, plastic, wood)
  • Bowl of warm water
  • 3 spoonfuls of butter
  • 3 spoons of different material (metal, plastic, wood)
  • Bowl of warm water
  • 3 spoonfuls of butter
  • Prepare 3 spoons of different material (metal, plastic, wood) before the start of lesson. 
  • Have students feel the material of the spoon.
  • Have students to carry out the following activity:


Step 1: Fill the bowl with warm water. Warn students that they have to be careful and cautious of handling the warm water. If younger students are involved, the teacher can do a demonstration instead. 


Step 2: Scoop a tea-spoon size amount of butter onto the spoon.


Step 3: Repeat this for all the spoons. Ask students to predict what would happen if the ends of the spoons are placed into a bowl of warm water. Have them share their answers.


Step 4: Place the end of each spoons into the bowl filled with warm water to find out whether their predictions are correct.  


  • Ask students questions: 


“What did you observe?”

“On which spoon did the butter melt first?” 

Ans: Metal

“On which spoon did the butter melt last?” 



  • Have students discuss and link the observations to the earlier activity in Engage 1. Share their answers with the class

Student’s Homework

Did you know:

Students can become very competitive in the classroom, especially boys. Games are a great way to control the competitiveness between peers. By using games in the classroom, students can compete against each other whilst playing a game, then support each other during other learning activities. Allow student to play STEAMValley together, and help each other out in leveling in the game!