What kind of liquid is this? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Examine and investigate all of its different properties: color, smell, feel, and more! First graders and second graders become liquid detectives as they use their observational skills to talk about physical science in the real world. In this hands-on science activity, they will investigate, describe, and record information about a mystery liquid. Finally, everyone can share what they have recorded and discovered with the rest of the class.
Students will be able to investigate, describe, and record information about solids.
- Explain to the students that they will learn about liquids today.
- Tell the students that there are three states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases and their focus today will be on solids.
- Show Matter Chatter to the students.
- While the song is playing, write the world “liquid” on chart paper to make a word web.
- After the song, ask students to give examples and characteristics of liquids.
- Write down the words and phrases the students say on the word web.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Bring the students together, and tell them that you will show them how to investigate a liquid.
- On chart paper, copy the table from the Liquid Detectives - Observation worksheet to demonstrate how to record information.
- Tell the students that the liquids are a mystery, and that they will be doing test to try to figure out what each liquid is.
- Choose a mystery liquid, then record the color, smell (by wafting it), transparency, and feel (by dipping a finger in it and then rubbing two fingers together).
- Explain to the students that all the liquids are safe to touch and smell, but tell them they are not to taste them.
- Demonstrate how to stir the liquid to see how thick or thin it is, then record your observations.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Show the students another mystery liquid in another cup.
- Ask students to come up and observe the liquid as you just showed them, then have them tell you what to record on the chart paper.
- Explain to the students that they will now be able to investigate liquids in small groups.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Tell the students to get into their small groups.
- Hand out the Liquid Detectives - Observation worksheet to the students.
- Remind the students to work together on their observations, and to discuss their findings.
- Hand out the liquids and stir sticks to each group.
- Tell the students to begin their investigation.
- Walk around, listen to the students conversation, and ask students questions about their discoveries.
- When finished, ask the students to clean up.
- Enrichment: To challenge students, you can have students write a paragraph about a liquid. They will create a description without saying what the liquid is, and other students have to guess what it is.
- Support: If students have difficulty writing, you can have them orally communicate their discoveries about the liquids.
- During the investigation, walk around and listen to student conversations and ask them about their discoveries.
- Look over student worksheets to check understanding.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Bring the students together with their worksheets.
- Ask the students to share with the class their discoveries about the liquids they investigated.