Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Where Did the Water Go?: All About Soils

So as you know, I teach 3rd grade in the great state of Georgia. Types of soils is one of our science standards. Being that I taught my Earth Science unit in August and September, I decided last week was a good time to review. In my room, we do centers every Thursday. This means small group experiments, review, and just general hands on, concrete learning for either our current unit or to refresh an old one.
I found The Science Penguin's TpT Store when I did a general search for soils experiments. Ari's FREE experiment was perfect!

Disclaimer: In no way do I benefit from The Science Penguin for this blog. I was so impressed by the ease of the experiment, the way the kids understood the concept and the overall experience. I wanted to share it with you all!

To the good stuff:
Start out by downloading the activity from TpT and making copies of the recording sheet. Pull out 4 funnels, graduated cylinders, petire dishes and coffee filters. Grab your sand, loam, clay and gravel. I got my gravel from a bag for the fish tank! Use what you have, right?

Set up the experiment like this:

Next measure 40 mL of water to pour into each graduated cylinder. I put food coloring in mine, so it would be easier for the kiddos to see. Step them through the logic: If 40 mL goes in, and 38 mL comes out, where is the other 2 mL? Is this addition, subtraction, multiplication or division?

Repeat for all 4 cylinders. Alright!! Never TELL them again that clay holds water better than sand.  Let them SEE it! Even my low kids were having those Ah-Haa moments!

I did the experiment as a whole group, per the directions of Ari @ The Science Penguin, and left the recording sheet for the kiddos to do when they came to that center. Easy as can be!

After doing this experiment, the only thing I would add is to write labels for each of the types of soil. I like to incorporate written language to catch those linguistic and visual learners! Words to consider: gravel, sand, clay, loam, retain, funnel, graduated cylinder

I passed out the recording sheet the next day to be sure that each student had completed it correctly and to review the conclusions that were drawn. Next Thursday, I'm going to bring in some grass seed and see if we can get them to grow in each type of soil. Put these two concepts together and tadaaa! Mission accomplished! Thanks, Ari @ The Science Penguin! I look forward to using your experiments again!

Visit her TpT Store for tons of cool experiments and definitely check out her Science Weekly Five activities!


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