I am so fortunate to work at an elementary school that has a science lab, which is run by a fantastic science lab director, who coincidentally used to be my assistant. Her name is Liz, and she also has her own craft business. (You can check out some of her wonderful creations HERE.) She has the lab looking so beautiful and inviting. I think I get just as excited as the kids to go and visit. There are so many resources available in our lab, and it is also, so visually appealing. On Friday, we were able to go to the science lab for a short, yet meaningful 30 minute activity to introduce the students to the lab rules, some science lab tools and the skill of science observation.
Before heading to the lab at the end of the week, we read about, and discussed, qualitative and quantitative observations. We then transferred the definitions into a flap book where students also wrote, and illustrated an example of each. They glued them into their interactive science notebooks for future reference. For homework, students took home a worksheet where they had to read a statement and then circle whether the statement was an example of qualitative or quantitative observations.
The following day, we went over the answers to the homework, and students explained why they chose the answers they did. I was happy to see that everyone had a strong understand of the observation concepts. Next was when the excitement began, because the students found out we were heading to the science lab to do an activity with “STARBURSTS.” How exciting! The science lab director showed them what a double pan balance was and how it is used.
Students placed one Starburst in one pan and then added 1 gram at a time to the other pan until the balance was….well, balanced.
Students documented their results, and then, made a quick sketch of the balance. They then measured the Starburst with a centimeter ruler. We showed them how to measure from the start of the ruler. Students then documented their answers, and used it to figure out the volume.
(Our science lab director showing students how to use the centimeter ruler correctly.)
Next they used their 5 senses to make observations. They wrote down information like, the smell of the candy and what it felt like. Their favorite? Why tasting it, of course!
The kids were so grateful and learned the concept quickly. A win - win if you ask me.
If you are interested in these specific activities you can find them HERE.
Your Thrifty Co-Teacher,