Lesson Plan Title : Slippery, Slippery Ice

Age Range: Kindergarten through Grade 2 (Lower Elementary)

Overview and Purpose: This experiment helps students understand how salt affects ice. They take turns sliding a penny across a piece of ice before and after salt is applied and record their observations.

Objective: The student will be able to explain what happens when salt is applied to ice and how it is used to help people during the winter.


2 large jelly roll pans of ice

Several pennies



Have the students hypothesize what will happen if pennies are pushed across the ice (they will go far, they will not stop), if salt is put on the ice (nothing, it will become bumpy), and what happens when a penny is pushed on the ice that has salt on it (it won't go very far, it will stop). Record their hypotheses on a piece of chart paper.

Give the students time to take turns pushing the pennies on the ice. Then, have them sprinkle salt on the ice and observe what happens. After the ice has melted, have them try pushing the pennies again. They can record their observations on the chart paper and revise their hypotheses, if necessary.

Talk with the students about the practical applications of treating ice with salt, e.g., we use it on the steps so we don't slip and on the roads so cars have traction.

Wrap Up:

For homework, have the students draw two pictures. One showing the three stages of the experiment and one showing how they think salt could be used in the wintertime to help people.