Density Lesson


TEKS Science: 6.2E, 6.3A-C, 6.4A-B CCRS Science Standards: VIII-A4


Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to calculate volume by using displacement. 
  2. Students will use density to identify unknown substances using the Density PhET simulation.
  3. Students will explain why objects sink or float relative to the density of the liquid they are placed in.
  4. Students will be able to calculate density after determining the mass and volume of a substance.

Lesson Overview:

Students will review the concept of matter in this lesson, along with, its physical properties of mass, volume, and density. In pairs, the students will use the Density PhET simulation to explore the concept of density and to answer the Question of the Day: “How can we use density to help us identify matter?” Using the “Mystery” function, the students will calculate the density of five boxes and use a built in table function to identify what the boxes are composed of. With their investigation sheets serving as evidence, the students will develop their own understanding, later clarified by the teacher, as to why things sink or float when placed in water. The teacher will facilitate a discussion on the practical applications of density and its use within STEM fields. The students will also perform a second investigation to determine how the density of an object changes as its mass changes using various samples of putty.