Lesson 1: Heat Causes Change


Activity 1: Heat

Materials: colored pencils or markers, science journal
Explain to your child that there are many changes that come from heat. Heat is warmth. Heat causes things to expand, or become larger. Heat can turn solids to liquids and liquids to gas, and heat from the sun causes changes in the environment. When light from the sun reaches the earth, it becomes heat. The sun can turn water into water vapor. Fire also gives off heat that can cause changes.

Ask your child to draw three sources of heat in his science journal. Remind him that heat comes from light or fire. Some heat sources might include candles, a fireplace, the sun, a heater, a stove, or a volcano.

Activity 2: Heat Transfer (Conduction)

Materials: colored pencils or markers*, construction paper, scissors and glue
Explain to your child that heat is transferred from hot objects to cool objects. This is why when you touch something that is hot it can burn your finger. The heat transfers from the hot object to your finger. This causes a change in your finger; your finger gets hot and burns. Review that molecules are the building blocks of solids, liquids, and gases. These tiny molecules come together to form matter (solids, liquids, and gases). Conduction is the transfer of heat from one molecule to another.

Choose one of the following options for your child to complete.

Option 1

On the page called "Heat Transfer" (Option 1), ask your child to cut out the pictures and order the objects according to the heat source, following the transfer of heat through the chain of events. For example, the stovetop heats the pan, which heats the food, which is hot to the touch. Or the sun heats the slide, which is hot when the child slides on it. Once he has ordered the objects, he can glue them on a piece of construction paper.

Option 2

For this more challenging option, ask your child to draw a sequence of events on a blank sheet of paper that shows how heat is transferred from one object to another. His chain should include at least three steps. Remind him that the source of heat will be the first link in the chain of heat transfer. (Refer to the "Heat Transfer" sheet from Option 1 if you need examples.)

Activity 3: Changes in Properties

Ask your child to explain the different changes that heat can cause. Give him the sheet, "Changes in Properties." Let him look at the first object and the heat source and then illustrate how the object or environment will change as a result of the heat.

Answers: Lake that is frozen but melting, melted butter in a pan, drying puddle on a sidewalk.