5th Grade – Mixtures and Solutions

Below are the posters that go along with this activity.  Click on either one of the posters to download the set.  These are available in color and black and white and in 11X 18 paper size.  

Things that you will need to get ready for this activity.

This activity will need 2 sets of the 4 straw holders.  Cut the straws in half and angle on end of the straw.  These angled ends will fit on the ball on the straw holders.  Prepare 4 different mixtures of salt solutions.  Begin with 4 different containers to hold 500 mL of water in each container.  (1 L soft-drink bottles will work best, so the solution can be easily mixed/shaken.)  Add about 50 drops of food coloring to each bottle.  Following the guide below, create the salt solutions with the coordinating colors.

Color Salt (volume) Spoons
Blue 210 mL 14
Yellow 120 mL 8
Green 60 mL 4
Red 0 mL 0



Pour the color solutions into each of the vials.  Put these vials near the plastic straw holders.  Put a plastic pipette into each of the plastic vials.  Students/parents will try to layer the different salt solutions in the straws.  When they try the different salt solutions, they will use the crayons or colored pencils to record their attempts.   When they find the order of the solutions that work, they will record their findings in their science journal.  Have participants dump their straw holder basins into the large container when they are finished.

Quick List for this activity – 

  • 8 straw holders
  • 2 sets of 4 plastic vials with a hole punched in the top – 8 total
  • 5 straws, but in half to make 10 – one end cut at a slant
  • 2 towels
  • 1 container of kosher salt
  • food coloring, set of 4 colors
  • 8 plastic bulb pipetts
  • 15 mL spoon
  • 4 1L recycled bottles
  • colored pencils or crayons – red, yellow, blue and green
  • 1 large container to dump the contents from the bottom of the straw holders