"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Introducing a Science Lab

One of my favorite ways to introduce a science lesson is with a science trade book. When Ms. McFarland sent me an email requesting a lab for her kindergarten class on objects that would sink and float, I went to work gathering her some interesting objects to test. As I gathered, I remembered a book that would be just the perfect introduction, Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen. An adorable book that has farm animals entering a boat--- "one at a time to go for a row in the bay for no reason". With the repeated line of "Do you know who sank the boat?", we discover that the smallest of the animals was the final straw for sinking the boat.

Book available on Amazon

Starting with the book, Ms. McFarland sparked the students interest as well as used their reading skills of predictions to share the book. 

She then introduced the lesson that the students would do. She had them go to their tables so that they could see their materials, but she guided them through placing several items in the tub of water and discussing what happened as a group. 

For instance, she had one person place the rock into water. They discussed what they saw while teaching them how to place it in and the proper rules for behavior. It is IMPERATIVE that you model and train them in order for students to give you that proper scientific behavior, otherwise, those "little darlins' will splash water all over the place. Guaranteed!!!!

Then, we had a interesting item come up. The shell. 


Would you get different results depending on how you placed it in the tub???
Oh, how much fun science is!!!

Well, we did:) On this one, the shell was light enough to float like a bowl. 

I purposely placed all shells in this shape in their bags.

Some of them did float like bowls, however, some were too heavy to do so. A LOT for a kindergarten student, but never ever underestimate their ability.

Then, she let them go to work with exploring all of the items in their baggie....index card, bouncy ball, aluminum foil, toy soldier, spoon, penny, sponge, etc.

You have to turn them loose sometimes to let them explore. She guided them first, then let them work in pairs for the remainder of the items.

After calling them all back to the carpet, she reviewed each item and let them discuss if it sank, floated, or if they noticed anything else. 

Then she took a small, clear plastic cup to act as the boat like in the book. One by one she added things to the cup until it too sank, tying that lesson all up in one neat package.

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