Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Science
- Clear plastic cups for each child
- Rubber bands or permanent markers
- A pitcher of water
- Chart paper
- Observation skills
- Recording data
Make a recording sheet with the question, "Where does the water go?" Draw three cups across the top of the paper so children can visually record data for three days. Make a copy for each child. Read books about the water cycle to children. Have a group discussion about the places they find water and the many ways we use it. Draw a line on the plastic cups marking the level you want the children to fill them to.
Explain to children that they will be doing an experiment with water to try to figure out what happens when it is exposed to the air. Where does it go? Have they ever wondered what happens to the water in puddles after it stops raining?
Give each child a clear plastic cup and write their initials on the bottom. Pour water to the fill lines of each cup. Talk about how the children will act as scientists and observe what happens to the water over a few days. What do they think will happen? You may want to write down the hypotheses on a large chart so that children can refer back to them later.
Put the cups in an easily observable place. Each day, invite children to look at the water and see what has happened. When they discover that a little water disappears each day, ask them where they think the water has gone. Talk about the big scientific word evaporation. Tell them the water has gone up into the air. be sure to use the word evaporation daily.
Each day, encourage the class to record their observations by marking the cups on their recording sheets to reflect the new level of water in their plastic cups. After the three days, ask if anyone remembers the scientific name for water going up into the air. Ask them to try to write the word at the bottom of their recording sheets.
Remember: Children of this age may not remember the scientific names for everything, but it is important for you to keep using the vocabulary, as the children need to hear the word many times.
Air as art: Air can do a lot more than just absorb water. Ask parents to put three small puddles of different colored poster paints in the center of a large piece of paper. Then have them give their child a straw and invite them to spread the paint around by blowing through it.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LITERACY
The water cycle: Suggest to children that they draw a picture of the water cycle. Invite them to write a story about how one water droplet travels through the cycle, to go along with their picture.
The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola
What Makes It Rain? by Susan Mayes