Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Liquid Lesson

We got together today with some friends to study liquids. So much fun! Kerry's idea of having them use clipboards to record their observations was brilliant. They really got into the activities. Here's what we did:
First we talked about the difference between a solid and liquid and the kids had to go around the house and find and draw two liquid objects and two solid objects. They observed their objects and transfered what they saw to paper.

Next the kids had to look at four different containers fill with water and determine which one had the most amount of water. As you can see by the photo, a variety of vessel types were used. The kids all picked the same one - the sundae cup (wide at the top and narrow at the bottom). To prove their hypothesis they had to measure the amounts in each container. It turned out that each container held 100mL. They were surprised and we discussed what had happened.

The next activity I found on thepioneerwomen.com (I think!). The kids were given recipe sheets. Each one had to follow a recipe. They read their line, coloured in the cups appropriately, made a guess as to what was going to happened and then they measured and mixed their colours. Finally they recorded their answers.

Next we talked about water pressure and how water travels from a water tower to a home. With the use of two syringes, plastic tubing and coloured water this was demonstrated.

A quick activity we did next was to see how water behaves on two different surfaces; a paper towel, and on wax paper.

One of my favourite experiments is making liquid layers. I used 5 different liquids; molasses, corn syrup, grenadine, mineral oil and coloured water. We started by tasting corn syrup. That gets everyone in a good mood! Then I poured the liquids one at a time down a baking sheet (covered with foil) and we (tried) to count how long it would take for the liquid to reach the bottom. We gave up counting for the molasses and corn syrup. We talked about what this meant. Why were they SO slow. We talked about the term viscosity and what it means. I told them that we were going to put all of the liquids in a test tube. Which one would be heavier and where would it sit in the test tube. One by one we added them to each tube and created 5 liquid layers. Really cool. It's fun to see some liquids bounce up and over others. It's difficult to see the layers in the photo but there were 5 distinctive layers which the kids were all able to record in a drawing. It's good for the liquids to have different colours (either naturally or by adding food colouring).

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