First grade is studying living and nonliving things. We put this turtle in water. I asked the children to watch it for me and to tell me if it was living. It grew and grew! The children told me that although it grew like a living thing, it wasn’t living because it didn’t move on its own, didn’t need food, and couldn’t reproduce. 🙂 So how did it grow so large? They had lots of thought provoking ideas. One student said that it must be a sponge, but we squeezed it and no water came out. Hmmm… We took it out of water and now we are watching to see what happens. Will it return to the original size? If so, how long will it take? If there is water inside, where will the water go?
Third grade completed their lessons on thermal energy with a lab about thermometers. In this investigation, we watched the thermometer as the hot water cooled to determine which cup was the best insulator. Thermometer concepts and skills were new to many of my students. Vocabulary included Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, degrees and scale. We also learned freezing and boiling points of Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. To reinforce this concept at home, show your children places you use thermometers (such as your thermostat, oven, fish tanks, or car). Show ways you use thermometers to measure the temperature of your body, air, liquids, or meat.
Click here to practice reading a thermometer.
Click here for NASA thermometer activity.