Science of Sublimation - Middle School STEM - Dry Ice Lab - 5E Lesson

Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Formats Included
  • PDF
20 pages
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Science gets spectacular as students actively engage in phenomena-based inquiry, observation, model creation, and analysis of phase changes and sublimation. Dry ice is the perfect substance to explore this unique phase change!

I love finding the wonder of science concepts in every day activities that are exciting for students to explore. My “Science of” series does just that. In this edition, students explore the science of sublimation, when a solid changes into a gas, skipping the liquid phase. This activity could last a few days or could be expanded on as the core phenomena of an entire unit. Students love the exploring this unique substance and the surprising properties of dry ice that come embedded in this content-rich activity. Personally, this has always been a favorite lesson and I am so excited to share it with you!

These activities are arranged in a "5E" format. Students will ENGAGE in the phenomena and modeling creation, EXPLORE dry ice information, safety, and discovery activities, EXPLAIN their observations by finding research to support what they saw, ELABORATE through CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) scientific writing tasks, and EVALUATE their understanding of the sublimation phase change process by modeling and describing the lifecycle of dry ice.

For a complete VIDEO PREVIEW of this product, visit my blog.

Want to explore sublimation as an engaging Halloween lesson?

Use the "Spooky Science" themed version of this lesson!

INCLUDED IN THIS PRODUCT: *Download the product preview to see in detail*

- Detailed Teacher Instructions

- 5E Lesson Guide

- Materials List and Helpful Hints

- Images of each activity

- Packet Cover Sheets

- Phenomena Demo Sheet

- Making Models Sheet

- Dry Ice Information and Safety Sheet

- Exploration Activity Sheet

- Explain the Phenomenon Research Sheet

- Two "State Your Claim" Writing Tasks

- Writing Task Printable Paper

- The Dry Ice Cycle Evaluation Activity


Carbon Dioxide


Phase Change




Thermal Energy

Molecule Movement



Chemical Change

Law of Conservation of Matter

NGSS Performance Expectation:

MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.

MS-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.

Cross Cutting Concepts (CCCs):

Energy & Matter

Cause & Effect

Systems & System Models

Science and Engineering Practice (SEPs):

Developing & Using Models

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

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Wishing you a class full of curious minds, always!



Terms of Use:

All rights reserved. Purchase of this item entitles the purchaser the right to reproduce the pages for individual classroom use only. Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system or for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without written permission from the author or additional license purchase.

Copyright © 2018 SCIENCEcerely, Me by Erin Hansen

Find my blog at and follow SCIENCEcerely, Me on Pinterest,Facebook, and Instagram @SCIENCEcerely_me.

Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


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