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6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Experiments, 60 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Lesson Plans

Regional Focus

Polar Regions



What's Happening at the Poles?

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  • In this 60-minute experiment, students visualize the difference in sea level rise between icebergs that melt in the ocean and glaciers that melt on land and end up in the ocean.

Teaching Tips


  • The student handout contains a clear scientific explanation of the whole phenomenon of sea level rise.
  • This experiment promotes critical thinking and observation skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The teacher must download and review the teacher's guide and student handout.
  • The linked resources under the "Sources" section can provide additional context for teachers.
  • The teacher must prepare the materials needed for this activity which include play dough, clear containers, ice cubes, water, and markers or colored tape.
  • Students must be familiar with glaciation, weather, and climate.


  • For students who may need additional support, teachers can guide the students in each step of this experiment.
  • As an extension, students could write a 3-point written conclusion after this experiment.
  • During science class, the teacher could ask students to select all the keywords from their worksheets and write them on a concept card.
  • Other recommended resources include Climate Change Data, Thermal Expansion of Water, and Changing Planet: Rising Sea Level.
Scientist Notes
This resource will help students visualize the difference in sea level rise between icebergs melting in the oceans and glaciers melting on land and ending up in the oceans. All of the resources provided are excellent and all of the information provided in the handout is scientifically accurate. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.5 Ask clarifying questions based on evidence about the factors that have caused climate change over the past century.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • 7.PS1.4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
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