Title of the activity / practice

Let’s explore the water!

Origin of the activity

High Green Tide

Age of the students

6 – 10 years old

Target group (type of the learners, size of the group)

(optional)

The workshop can be developed in groups of 3/5 pupils

School subjects + topics concerned

Science, Art, Technology, Italian 

Educational goals of the practice

– Discovering the element water: characteristics and properties
– Experimenting with the characteristics and properties of water
– Getting to know the states of water and state transitions
– Understanding the importance of water for human life and the need not to waste it

Duration

2 hours

Place

School garden or classroom

Materials / Resources / technical requirements

Carton, kattle, cups and bowls, glasses, napkins, food coloring (blue, red, and yellow), modelling paste, water, film, paper clips, sheets

Description of the activity

Preparation:

Circle time: let’s ask questions about the characteristics and properties of water. To find out more, the teacher will introduce 4 different experiments

Main phase:

The activity is divided into 2 phases:
1. Experiments with water
2. Construction of a book
In the first activity, 4 experiments were carried out:
– The water cycle: boil a liter of water and pour it into an empty bowl, and put a smaller empty cup inside the first one. Cover with cling film and wait a few minutes to see some little droplets appear on it.  After about 15 minutes, the children notice that some of the droplets fall into the empty basin below. In this way, they realize that the water that was in the big bowl (the sea) evaporates with heat, forms condensation on the film (clouds), and for the droplets are heavy, they fall back down (rain).
– Capillarity: into 3 glasses put red, yellow, and blue food coloring and add water. Roll up 2 paper napkins and place them inside the glasses. It can be seen within minutes that the colour is absorbed by the napkins. The property of water capillarity is demonstrated. The children find out that plants absorb water, mineral salts, and many other substances, even the damaging ones,  from the soil through the roots.


– Surface tension: fill a glass of water ‘beyond’ the top and put a metal paperclip on the surface: the surface tension of the water is demonstrated; it ‘holds’ a metal paperclip that would naturally descend to the bottom of the glass.


– Archimedes’ principle: in a bowl full of water put a small ball of plasticine which immediately falls to the bottom; repeat the experiment by giving a boat shape to the plasticine which now floats. Archimedes’ thrust is demonstrated: the greater the surface area of a body in water, the greater the buoyancy that the water exerts on the body itself (the ship floats despite being made of iron because it receives a greater upward thrust than its weight).


The construction of a recycled cardboard book is divided into 3 chapters:
– Water is life
– The water cycle
– Don’t waste water!

Conclusions: Children talked about their experiences and receive a special pencil that contains a seed to be planted.

Further elements (optional)

Evaluation

The children had a lot of fun and asked many questions during the 4 experiments. They realized what the water cycle is and they were amazed to see water in the bowl that was initially empty.
They collaborated to create the book and were proud of their work when it was finished.

Link to useful external resources (optional)

 

Link to activity results (video, pictures, projects, etc.)

 

Tips for educators / theoretical background or curriculum context

(optional)

Children always enjoy laboratory activities, more space could be given to the laboratory while still involving them in reflection and observation, stimulating their scientific thinking.

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