See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.
G for Gas
Science Notebook Page
As a refresher, I gout out our book States of Matter again. I was very surprised that Xander would randomly pick it up and read himself a page or two. I also picked Matter and Motion, Magnets and More from the library. For both I had just planned on reading him the sections about gases, however, he insisted I read the entire Matter book.
We've been talking about changing states of matter a lot. Mostly the conversation started when my brakes squeaked one morning and he asked "Mom, why are your brakes squeaking?! It didn't rain!" (Not sure why he seemed so indignant about it). Anyway it got us talking about how the windows on the car were all wet from condensation. Then we noticed some other examples of condensation, and the conversation basically progressed from there into melting, freezing, boiling, etc. We've been talking about these ideas for a couple of weeks and he is starting to build some understanding (although he still needs some practice). Since he is interested, I made this little diagram for him to see if it would help solidify things (oops, pun wasn't intended initially, then I left it in). We definitely aren't done with states of matter in our alphabet, so I'll probably make another one again eventually.
Fun with Balloons
Since letter F was float and G was gas, I combined concepts with balloons. We started with empty balloons and talked about how they were flat because they were empty. I blew one up and asked him what made it round (gas). I also 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. 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). I'm not sure if he understood the sinking and floating concept, but he did get that the balloons were filled with gases.
Soda bottles (I used the mini ones), Pop Rocks, effervescent antacid tablets, vinegar, and two balloons
I left the soda in one bottle and added Pop Rocks, then immediately covered the opening with a balloon. Xander helped by pouring the candy into the bottle using a funnel. I repeated the procedure with an empty bottle, 2 antacid tablets, and some vinegar. I asked him to compare the balloons, and then tied them off for him to compare further (and play with).
What I really wanted him to get out of this was that the balloons fill with gas and that more gas means a bigger balloon. I started by asking him what was inside the deflated balloon (nothing). We started with just the soda and candy. Once the balloon started filling, I asked him what he noticed. He said the balloon was getting bigger. I asked him what was going into it to make it bigger. He also noticed that it was making a lot of noise. He had a great time listening to the reaction! I basically asked him the same questions with the vinegar and antacid tablets. Once both balloons were done filling, I had him compare the two. I asked him which one had more gas and how he knew. I was very happy that he answered correctly that the yellow balloon had more gas because it was bigger.
Making those all important observations!
Comparing the two investigations.
Two baggies, water, vinegar, baking soda
We put two tablespoons of baking soda into two different baggies (4T total, but you the amount isn't super important). I then had him put some water in one bag and vinegar in the other using twisty droppers. I tried to keep the bag while he squirted. We eventually ended up just pouring in the water and vinegar to get a bigger reaction. Then we compared what happened with both bags.
This activity was perfect for a review of solids, liquids, and gases, since it involved all three! First I asked him about what was in the two (empty) baggies. After adding each ingredient I asked him if there was a solid, liquid, or gas in each bag. I asked him to make observations and tell me what he was noticing. When we had both bags at the end, I asked him to compare them. He could feel the difference between the one that had gas in it and the one that didn't. I asked why he thought the one was full and squishy while the other one was empty.
Feeling the difference between the bags.
Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board!