Outline of unit

During this unit, students are engaged in the subject of heat transfer by being introduced to the character apprentice chef Pierre who needs the assistance of the students to solve some problems he encounters in his kitchen.

Students explore and examine heat transfer in the context of the kitchen. They identify sources of heat in the home and environment and explore two modes of heat transfer – conduction and convection. They conduct activities using ice and water to explore these modes of heat transfer, and then identify familiar situations where these modes could be used. They learn to use and read thermometers so they can gain accurate data from activities relating to heat. They explore conductors and insulators and identify how colours absorb and reflect heat.

In order to apply their knowledge about heat transfer, they collaboratively plan and conduct an investigation to help solve a problem for apprentice chef Pierre. Students use this knowledge to explore the concept of transferring heat between objects. They further apply their knowledge of heat transfer by discussing familiar contexts of heat transfer such as clothing choice, keeping warm or cool and heating and cooling homes.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Science Understanding

Physical sciences

Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science

Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE061

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (ACSHE062

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting

With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS064

Planning and conducting

Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions (ACSIS065

Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS066

Processing and analysing data and information

Use a range of methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS068


Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071

Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). 

Achievement standard

This lesson sequence provides opportunities to gather information about students’ achievement of specific components in the standards (which are bolded in the statements below).

By the end of Year 3, students use their understanding of the movement of the Earth, materials and the behaviour of heat to suggest explanations for everyday observations. They describe features common to living things. They describe how they can use science investigations to respond to questions and identify where people use science knowledge in their lives.
Students use their experiences to pose questions and predict the outcomes of investigations. They make formal measurements and follow procedures to collect and present observations in a way that helps to answer the investigation questions. Students suggest possible reasons for their findings. They describe how safety and fairness were considered in their investigations. They use diagrams and other representations to communicate their ideas.

Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Gas cooker blue flame, © Shelley Murphy.

Additional information for teachers


Background information (PDF, 385 KB)

Safety advice (PDF, 385 KB)

Materials and equipment (PDF, 413 KB)