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Database Provider


Center for Ecoliteracy


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Biology, Physics, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West



Winter Squash: Sink or Float?

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  • This hands-on lesson about squash includes directions for a squash taste test, a squash buoyancy test, a vocabulary list, and worksheets to print for your students.
  • Students will enjoy this fun lesson, which can span one or two 50-minute periods.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson will provide students with lasting impressions.
  • Students will get to test their hypotheses about squash buoyancy, taste several varieties of winter squash, and learn about these vegetables.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Several materials are required to complete all the components of this lesson, including copies of worksheets, baking and kitchen supplies, several varieties of squash, and plastic containers filled with water. 


  • This activity would work well in a health class discussing nutrition, a science class working on density or biodiversity, and language arts classes reading non-fiction.
  • It would work well as station work or lab work, where students complete a portion of the lesson and rotate through each of the stations. 
  • As an extension, have students complete the density test with other produce.
Scientist Notes
This resource is an in depth lesson on Californian grown varieties of winter squash. It dives into its history and uses as well as its cultivation. All information within is accurate and verifiable. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
      • RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above, with scaffolding as needed.
      • RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • 3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
      • 3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
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