Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Super Simple Evaporation, Condensation, and Sublimation

Science lessons do not have to be complicated or expensive for kids to enjoy them.  I'm often surprised how much enthusiasm the simplest activities can garner.

We are just wrapping up a Changing Matter Unit.  We've had these 3 little cups and bags that we have been observing for 4 weeks now.

The first is a bag of water taped to the window in which condensation continues to occur.  This is the most static of the 3 observations.  Since the bag is sealed the process just continues.

Next we have a cup that was filled with water, and we are watching the process of evaporation.  We also see some foreign particles that are kinda' gross.  When the heat was turned on in the building, the students were surprised to see an obvious change overnight.  {Did I mention that some kids literally check these every single day?  It's true.  You would think they would be over it, but they aren't!}

Finally we have sublimation taking place.  This is the best because I love the word sublimation, and kids think they smell horrible!  The plastic cup is crinkled all around the bottom, and those little guys are about 25% of their original size!  Kids are mystified by the fact that there is no liquid in the process--solid to gas.  It seems like magic to them.

I really like process in Science.  I like this because it ends up being about 6 weeks, but it's only a focus for about 3 day.  In there science notebook, students label a page with these 3 words.  Then they eyeball dividing the page in thirds.  {We do half first and then go for thirds.  Most are surprisingly good!}  They draw what they see and write a very brief description.  About half way in we drew the changes we had scene and described.  They will do this one more time.

It's super simple, but the students are engaged, learning vocabulary, and practicing scientific observation skills.

What is your favorite simple science?

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