Lets Think About...Water
1. Water Molecules Like To Stick Together
Give each child a small plastic water bottle half filled with water. Add blue food coloring for interest. Have children add some sequins or glitter into the bottle. Place the cap on the bottle and seal it with duct tape. Let children play with bottles moving and shaking them.
Discussion: What is in the bottle? (water, food coloring, sequins air) Why is the water on the bottom and the air on top? Can you turn the bottle upside down? What happens? Why do you think water stays with water and air stays with air?
2. Water's Weight Helps Things Float
Will it float in water?
Fill a basin with water. Place it at a level that is accessible for children. (Note: A water table can also be used for this activity.) Gather assorted items and place on a tray. Be sure that some of the items will sink and some will float. Have children test the items one at a time, separating them into two categories as they work: Things that sink. Things that float.
Do all things act the same when placed in water? Do all things float? Why do some things float and some things sink? Does an object need to be a certain shape to float? Do small things float easier than large things?
3. Water Can Change Back and Forth From a Liquid To a Solid
With children fill a large clear tupperware container with water. Place the water in the freezer. When frozen, remove from the freezer and take out into the sunshine. Let it melt.
What did we do? Have children recall the process. Is this the same water? If we put it back in the freezer will it again become ice? This is called reversibility.
4. Water Weighs Something and It Is Heavy
Use two balloons that are the same color and size. Fill one balloon with air and another with water. Have the children guess if they weigh the same or if one will weigh more than the other. Let the children test their ideas by handling the balloons.
Do they weigh the same? If so, why not? Which weighs more, water or air? Demonstrate using a half filled bottle. The water stays on the bottom no matter which way it is turned.
5. Some Things Dissolve in Water and Some Things Do Not
Place several large clear plastic cups filled with water on a table. Make available equal amounts of edible items, such as sugar, salt, cooking oil, and rice. Baking soda, tea leaves, granulated jello and seeds may be used as well.
Do all things react the same when placed in water? What do you think will happen? Some things dissolve when put in water. Some things remain the same. Place a tablespoon of salt in the first cup. Stir. Observe, taste and discuss. Continue this process, with each of the items.
Note: With younger children test fewer items.
Reprinted with the permission of PBS. © PBS 2003 - 2008, all rights reserved.
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