Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students apply the knowledge gained over the unit to extend their understanding of heat transfer by exploring taking heat away. They explore heat transfer in their everyday lives.


Read/show Letter 5 from apprentice chef Pierre – jelly disaster.

Inform students that they are going to jointly plan and construct an investigation to assist apprentice chef Pierre in solving his problem.

Explain how heat transfer does not just occur in the context of adding heat to things or warming things up. Inform students that heat transfer can include heat being taken away from things, or cooling them down.

Refer to Lesson 3 on conductors and insulators. Remind students what happened when they held the cold water bottle with their bare hands.

Discuss how heat transfer warmed the cold water up and cooled their warm hands down at the same time.


  1. Discuss with students their ideas about why apprentice chef Pierre’s jelly did not set and record their responses. Ask students to suggest how they might solve the problem of the jelly not setting.
  2. Explain to students that they need to test their ideas about how the jelly could set by conducting an investigation and that they are going to plan together how to conduct the investigation and then test their ideas.
  3. Display the Investigation planner on the EWB for all students to view.
    Teacher note: Students are not expected to complete this sheet on an individual basis due to the literacy requirement, however jointly planning and completing the sheet is recommended.
  4. Work through the beginning sections of the sheet with the class to determine how the investigation is to be carried out. During the planning stages, aim students towards carrying out a simple investigation that requires making 3 cups of jelly: one cup is to be placed on the bench (as carried out by apprentice chef Pierre); one cup is to be placed in the refrigerator and the last to be placed in the freezer. Students will make observations about what is happening to the jelly and discuss how the heat is being transferred out of the jelly mixture into air/refrigerator/freezer.
  5. Put students into groups and give them roles according to the investigation plan. Provide each group with materials. (see Materials and equipment for lesson 5 for details.) Provide time for the students to conduct their investigation. Monitor their progress and ensure they are recording their observations.
  6. Ask students to share their findings about the investigation. Discuss how setting the jelly to the right consistency meant they needed to cool it by transferring heat away.
  7. Ask students to write a letter to apprentice chef Pierre explaining why his jelly did not set and how he can make it set using the concept of ‘taking heat away’.


Review the concepts learnt in the whole unit.

Discuss how understanding heat transfer can help the students in their everyday lives.

Make a list of actions that having an understanding of heat transfer will assist – clothing choice, heating or cooling homes, and staying warm in winter or cool in summer.

Consolidate their understanding of heat and heat transfer by having students participate in a learning object Keeping warm.  

Lesson Resources


Student activities

Digital resources

Letter 5 from apprentice chef Pierre – jelly disaster (Word, 92 KB)

Investigation planner (Word, 86 KB) 

Keeping warm, BBC schools science clips 

Useful links

How to make jelly, YouTube (2:26 min). Video 

L42 Space lab – going down and burning up, NDLRN. Learning object 

The magic school bus in the Arctic, YouTube (22:48 min). Episode 28 of the cartoon series 


Cole, Joanna 1998, The Magic School Bus in the Arctic: A book about heat, Scholastic Inc., New York