Learn about dissolving and chemical changes with this short podcast

Produced by FunKids Radio and the RSC, this short snippet uses Kareena and her superhero friend K-Mistry to introduce children to dissolving and chemical changes in the context of jelly.

This podcasts can be used as a ’hook’ when introducing the topic to your students, or at the end of a lesson to stimulate discussion about what they have learnt.

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

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group materials together according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.
  • Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.
  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • In simple terms, what happens during the process of dissolving.
  • That when a chemical reaction occurs new products are formed and that these changes are often irreversible.
  • What is meant by the terms ‘reversible’ and ‘irreversible change’

Suggested activity use

This activity could be used as a whole class investigation, with different groups of children investigating different fruits and their effects on the setting of jelly.

It could also be used as a stimulus to look at variables affecting the rate at which jelly cubes dissolve, for example: the liquid being used; the colour of the jelly; the sizes of cubes used; whether the liquid is stirred; and the temperature of the liquid.

Practical considerations

You will need a variety of different equipment and ingredients to carry out the activity, such as a range of fresh and tinned fruit and a food processor to prepare the fruit. If you or the children decide to investigate the effect of temperature on dissolving, you will need heating and/or cooling facilities.

To understand why different fruits affect the setting of jelly, you will need to provide a clear explanation of what enzymes are and how they work.

Be aware of any allergies to the fruits being investigated.