- Large tub or water table
- Waterproof smocks
- Assorted items for water transfer, such as sponges, paper towels, basters, spoons, ladles, cups, straws, and funnels
- Plastic pitcher or bucket
Objective: Children will experiment with various ways to transport water.
In Advance: Talk with children about the different places they might find water (bath tub, river, swimming pool, sink, puddle). Ask: How do you think the water gets to these different places? Then introduce a collection of different materials that can be used to transport water. Encourage children to describe the different ways the items can be used to move water from one place to another.
- Place the empty dishpan next to the empty water table or a tub placed outdoors. Encourage children to brainstorm different ways that they might fill the tub with water.
- Help children put on waterproof smocks. Take out the bucket or pitcher and invite children to try out some of the methods they discussed for filling the tub. Continue filling until the water reaches one or two inches.
- Now ask children to look at and handle the collection of water-transfer items. Talk about the items and ask children to predict which ones might be useful for transferring water from the tub to the empty dishpan.
- Give children enough time to try transporting water with each item. Discuss the predictions they made. Did all the transfer items work? Why or why not?
- Try a few more experiments. Encourage children to find out which items can carry the most water and which carry the least. Which items move the water fastest? Slowest? As they work, invite children to look for other materials around the classroom to try out.
For younger children: Have children work in pairs to transport larger containers filled with water to the water tub.
For older children: Set out pumps, tubing, and connectors for children to experiment with water movement. After-ward, look under the sinks at school and discuss the pipe system.
OBSERVATIONS Do children refine their ideas about transferring water as the activity progresses? Might they benefit from extending the activity over several days?
REMEMBER Protect against spills by covering all classroom surfaces and keeping extra newspaper and paper towels available.
A Crow's Journey by David Cunningham
Go Home, River by James Magdanz