In Search of Solutions: Mrs Johal's class


In Search of Solutions: Sand, sawdust and salt, all mixed up, can your students recover them? Linking to topics on dissolving, evaporating, filtration and density.


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If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Observe that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
  • Use knowledge of solids, liquids, and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving, and evaporating.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That their knowledge of separating techniques can be used to solve real-life problems.

Suggested activity use

This activity provides a good open-ended problem solving context for children to use their knowledge of separating mixtures to solve the incident described. Children could work in small groups to discuss and carry out the activity, choosing their own equipment, whilst also evaluating their methods and discussing how to improve.

Practical considerations

This activity also provides an excellent assessment opportunity.

You will need to provide the materials and equipment listed in the resource for the different groups to make their selections.

Previous work on separation techniques will be beneficial here, so that children can call upon prior knowledge.