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Super Water! (Properties of Water)



Super Water! (Properties of Water)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.55

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    observable, skin-like, transparency, phenomenon, characteristic, steeper, volume, classify, solvent, siphon, uphill, universal, striders, dissolve, material, survival
     content words:    Super Substance


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Super Water! (Properties of Water)
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Look on the ground! It's a liquid! It's an earth material! It's water! Water, the most important substance that comes from the earth, has many observable properties that make it one of the most amazing liquids known to mankind. Not only is it necessary for the survival of humans and animals, but also it is one of the few liquids that can dissolve many different types of solids. Since water dissolves certain substances so well, pure water exists very rarely in nature. Due to this major characteristic, scientists call water a universal solvent. Most natural water carries dissolved solids like salt. Water is also the only material that is found naturally on the Earth's surface in all three states of matter: liquid, solid, and gas. Let's take a look at water's many properties.
 
2     Water has transparency, which means that you are able to see clearly through water. This is one property that allows scientists to determine if certain solids have completely dissolved in water. Another property of water is shapelessness. If you poured water into a bowl that was shaped like a teddy bear, you would have water that looked like a teddy bear. However, once you pour the water out, it would not be shaped like a teddy bear (unless you are still imagining things). Since water takes on the shape of its container, it can be used to measure the volume of irregular objects.
 
3     Water also has movement or flow. Scientists classify water as a liquid because it can be poured, and it can flow or move over surfaces. Water always flows downhill unless there is a force or machine to push it uphill. The steeper or more slanted the hill, the faster the water will flow down that slope or hill. Pumps and siphons are used to raise water from a surface whether below ground or above ground. A siphon uses the pressure of the water to raise the water to another level. Pumps rely on air pressure to move water to a higher level. Imagine a hot summer day, and your parents have turned on the sprinklers in your yard. You notice that the water is moving upward and at times, in different directions. Not only are you getting wet as you run through the sprinklers, but also a larger area of your parents' lawn is getting water. If you were to take out the water hose, turn it on, and lay it on the grass, the water would just flow across the surface of the grass. You would also notice that a smaller area of the grass would be watered due to the shortened reach of the water's flow.

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