Saturday, November 26, 2011

We welcome Winter!

Hi everybody! Long time no see! Can you believe Christmas is already just around the corner? And there is definitely a jolly feeling in the air!!!
Anyhow. We have stated our winter theme. It always feel good to move on to something new. Kids get so enthusiastic! We went for a small winter walk around the garden together this week. We talked about the changes we saw in nature: how do the trees look now that is different from autumn or summer? How does the grass look? How does the sky look? Are there any (or many) animals around? Are there flowers? Finally, I told them that winter had arrived.  

 I read them a book called  The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud by Jane Cabrera. It is the story about a little polar bear looking for a friend. The snow cloud tries to help by making animal shapes out of snow, but they're not real and they keep melting.

I asked the children to think of things that melt.: ice cream (their favourite answer), ice, snow balls, snow man.. This make me think that there is another cool book you could read the kids and which would introduce the concept of melting to them. It is called The Snow man by Raymond Briggs. I LOVE this simple story. It is a classic and once you sart reading the story, you are bound to feel Christmas is the air.

Anyhow. Back to what we did.  After brainstorming for a while, I brought the children to a table where I had prepared 4 containers with ice in it.

First, I asked them to take some ice I had broken up in pieces beforehand. They held the ice in their hand and observed what happened: "oh, it is freezing, Aude!!", "it's dripping, now, Aude", "that's because it is melting!"..

I told them that the ice was melting because their hands were warm and ice doesn't like warm or hot things. If it melts, it turns back into water. Then I asked them if they knew another way to melt the ice. A little boy suggesed to leave it in the sun (he definitely got the idea!!). I agreed. And then I asked "what would you do if the sun was hidden in the sky and it was a cold cloudy day?". One of them said you could blow on it because this is what he does when his hands are cold. (Waaaa, those little brains are working so fast!!). After brainstorming a little bit, I told them that salt can melt ice.

I added some salt to one of our container. Then I told them we were going to do a little experiment and see which tub of ice was going to melt faster over the half an hour. We labelled our tubs: melting with salt, melting on the table, melting on the radiator, melting in the fridge.

We made predictions (I forgot to take a picture of our little chart- but you get my drift). Most of them predicted that it would melt faster on the radiator (clever bunch!!). None of them mentioned the salt. After half an hour, we went back to check on the ice. Well!!! They couldn't believe that the ice mixed with salt was nearly all melted!!! They got so excited about it!! I reminded tham of last year when it was snowy and icy here. People were buying bags of salt to spray in front of their doorways to melt the ice and make sure they wouldn't slip on their way out. The ice on the radiator came second, the one on the table came third and the one in the fridge came last. I explained again that the hotter it would be, the quicker it would melt.

Sorry if it is croooked. I can't put it straight for some reason.

We then put in the containers in order: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

I have 2 other science experiments to do with the children this month: cryogenics and densiy experiment (not directly linked to winter but I make it Christmassy for fun!). What do you do in your classroom in science at the moment?

To conclude this post, I have added a little video from the Snow Man book. Enjoy it!! I always do:



1 comment:

  1. Great idea! I love The Snowman. We are supposed to have snow here, on Tuesday. I was thinking about giving the children spray bottles with water color paint inside. I have never done that, but someone suggested it to me last Spring, and I put it on my "to do for sure" list. : )


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