Lesson plan

A Foaming Experience

Get your students excited about science! In this lesson, you will read a book to your students about performing an experiment and being a scientist. Then, your students will perform their own experiments.
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Students will be able to describe and discuss their experiments and compare and contrast their activities to the activity in the book.

(20 minutes)
  • Show your students the goggles, explaining that they protect eyes.
  • Explain that a scientist is someone who studies something, makes guesses about it, and then does an experiment to see if her guess is correct.
  • Tell your students that an experiment is a project where people can try something to see what happens.
  • Read If You Take a Mouse to School.
  • When you get to the page where the mouse is doing the experiment, point out the protective goggles.
  • Ask the students why they think he is wearing the protective goggles. Explain that the mouse’s experiment is very messy, and he needs to protect his eyes.
  • Read the book Scientists. Explain that there are many different kinds of scientists who study very different topics.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell the students that today, they will pretend to be a scientist and perform an experiment just like the mouse in the book.
  • Hand out protective goggles for each student, and have them put them on.
  • Ask your students to identify the two colors that mix together to become purple.
  • Tell your students that you will try an experiment in which you mix colors in vinegar.
  • Start the experiment by mixing the red and blue food coloring into some vinegar.
  • Mix other colors together after asking the students for their thoughts on what colors will make green and orange.
  • Hand out a tray to each student for their experiments.
  • Put some of the colored vinegar in a large clear cup, and give one to each student.
  • Hand out a small clear cup with baking soda in it and a spoon to each student.
  • Tell the students that when they make a guess, it is called a prediction.
  • Ask your students to make a prediction about what will happen when they put some baking soda into the colored mixtures.
(15 minutes)
  • Have the students use the spoon to sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into the purple vinegar.
  • Talk about the sound, smell, color, and look of the experiment.
  • Ask the students to identify similarities and differences between the mouse's experiment and their experiments.
(15 minutes)
  • Hand out paper and crayons.
  • Ask the students to draw a picture of their experiments.
  • Instruct your students to tell you about their pictures.
  • Write key comments on their pictures.
  • Enrichment: Have your students come up with an additional experiment with the existing materials. With your permission and guidance, instruct them to carry out the experiment.
  • Support: Direct your students to come up with ideas of what scientists might study. Have them identify scientists in real life.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe the students as they perform their experiments and as they draw their pictures.
  • When they tell you about their pictures, make sure they use key words.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the students to come up with other experiments.
  • Based on their suggestions, come up with an idea that you can try on another day and become scientists again!

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