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Main Curriculum Tie:
Supplemental Materials (pdf)
Student Prior Knowledge:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
2. Divide students into small groups of 3 or 4. Give each group a tub of water and several objects. Invite students to discover which objects will float. As students begin to explore, watch for students who naturally begin to sort objects into two categories of things that float and things that sink. Ask the students to describe their thinking as they make two piles. Invite other groups of children to see the two piles. Ask the class what each pile might be named. Provide cards for students to write the words "float" and "sink". (Write both words on the blackboard for them to see.) Distribute trays for each category to the groups. Have the groups finish sorting their objects.
3. Ask students to discuss the attributes of objects that float and of those that sink. Make a Venn diagram of descriptive words for objects that float and objects that sink. Are there objects that can do both?
4. Invite students to return to their tubs and see if they can make something that floats sink or something that sinks float. Distribute various lids (labeled with a letter of the alphabet) to each group and ask them to investigate making objects that sink, float on the lids. Which lids make the best boats? Distribute counting bears. Invite children to see how many bears can float on each boat. Ask students to record the results by writing the letter labeling each boat, and writing how many bears it can hold before it sinks or tips over.
5. Ask each group to share with the class the boat that holds the most, and the boat that holds the least number of counting bears. Make a Venn diagram describing attributes of boats that hold the most counting bears and those that hold the least. Encourage comments about the exploration.
6. Provide each student with a sheet of aluminum foil. Ask each child to make a boat that they think will hold the most counting bears. Show them how to mold and shape the foil. Students make boats, and return to the water tub to test their boats. Classmates in group will count together as each child places a counting bear on their boat. When the boat tips over, students place their boat on the large sheet of chart paper and record the number of bears it held. Compare the boats in each group.
7. Read the book "Who Sank the Boat" by Pamela Allen. Invite students to reenact the story, with each student in the group adding a plastic animal to a larger tin foil boat created by the group. Which animal will be the one to sink the boat?
Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Student readers about floating and sinking:
Ask students to bring 3 items from home that sink and 3 that float. Test their items to see if they have correctly identified floaters and sinkers.
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