Friday, October 18, 2013

F is for Float

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

E for Evaporate

As a little bit of background, I checked out a few books about floating and sinking.  One of them ended up being a little more complicated than I would have liked, although Xander insisted I read him the whole thing.  I did like Float and Sink, though.  We read it together and he also randomly picked it up to read throughout the week.  Basically, I wanted to give him a little bit of background about what floating was.

Xander also watched The Magic School Bus: Ups and Downs, an episode on sinking and floating.

Sink or Float Investigation
Clear tub or water, various household items of different materials.
For this investigation, I used the form below.  I wrote the name or description of each item and asked him to predict whether he thought it would sink or float.  Then he tested the item and I asked him what it did and wrote down his answers.
The Conversation:
Most of the conversation for this investigation involved asking him to make predictions and leading him to use what he learned from other objects to in making those predictions.  When he would test something, I'd ask him if it sank or floated, and then ask him how he knew.  We eventually got at the idea that things that floated, stayed at the top of the water and things that sunk went to the bottom.  Whenever we do science, I stress the important of making observations (and using those observations to influence his claims, although I do not word it like that for him).  He not only noticed what the objects were doing in the water, but also what they sounded like when he dropped them in.  He had a great time and even re-tested all of the objects!

I used a clear tub so that he could see what was happening under the water.

Since I plan on exploring gases for the letter G, I decided to combine an activity using balloons.  I bought a helium filled balloon and we talked about how it had a special gas in it.  That gas was lighter than the air and made the balloon float up to the ceiling.  I also talked about how the air pushed up on the balloon more than the balloon pushed down on the air, which is why it went up.  (That concept was a little harder for him to grasp and I would never expect complete understanding!  I also did not want to confuse him with the specifics of density.  I just want to expose him to as many ideas and concepts as possible to let him explore.)  I also blew up a balloon myself.  He compared the two balloons and discussed why one floated and the other did not (it is heavier than the air around it, so it sinks).  Regardless of if he truly understood the concept, he had a great time with the balloons, and really, instilling the idea that science can be fun is all I want!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...