Suggestions for teaching floating, sinking and density

Taylor, Neil, Taylor, Subhashni, Rizk, Nadya, and Cooper, Grant (2017) Suggestions for teaching floating, sinking and density. Teaching Science, 63 (4). pp. 10-15.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Understanding the concept of density is crucial to enabling students to explain the phenomena of floating and sinking. However, density is not an easy concept for students to understand, not least because as Dawkins, Dickerson, McKinney and Butler (2008) state, the use of floating and sinking demonstrations in determining density pays little attention to the idea that many objects do not have uniform density. Obvious examples are air-filled, hollow objects. Dawkins et al. and Roach (2001) have reported on the problems pre-service teachers in the USA encounter with the concept of density, despite it being covered in high school chemistry and physics text books. This article describes a teaching sequence used with preservice primary teachers in Australia that helps them explain floating and sinking by applying the concept of density appropriately. Some of the teaching ideas may also be useful for teaching at the middle school level. The sequence is presented in narrative form rather than as a formal lesson plan.

Item ID: 59852
Item Type: Article (Other)
ISSN: 1839-2946
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 19:11
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl Maori) @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page