In Japan, 5th grade students learn about particle models in dissolution in science classes. In contrast, 5th grade students in Finland learn about atoms and molecules. Thus, there are some differences in the way that dissolution is taught in the two countries. The current study sought to investigate the effect of these differences on children’s understanding of dissolution in the 4th and 6th grades in Japan and Finland. The results indicated that, among 6th grade students who studied dissolution, more Japanese students than Finnish students were able to describe sugars and salts using a particle model. We discuss the potential causes of this finding in relation to the way that dissolution is taught in science lessons, and whether particle models are included in textbooks.