After a discussion about germs (bacteria and viruses), how they are passed, and where they are found, I sent my second grade scientists out to swab germ hot spots around school. When they returned, they gently rubbed their Q-tips over agar in Petri dishes. Click here to watch a child-friendly video about viruses. Hope this lesson helps us to have a healthy school year!
Watch the video to learn more about this investigation:
Check out some of our Petri dishes below. Note: We did not swab the hand dryer in the bathroom. We held the Petri dish under the dryer to see if it would blow germs into it.
After we swabbed the Petri dishes, we completed an investigation to demonstrate the importance of using soap during handwashing. We dropped pepper (germs) in water inside small Petri dishes. We placed a clean Q tip inside the Petri dish, but the pepper did not move. Then, we dipped the Q tip in soap. This time when we touched the pepper, it moved quickly to the sides of the dish. The soap broke the surface tension of the water.
PreK physicists reviewed the various ways objects move and that movement begins with a push or a pull. Then, we pushed and pulled ribbon dancers to make them move both slow and fast and high and low. We made shapes and heard them whip. My youngest scientists worked on large muscle development when they crossed their midlines and changed hands.
After reading Squiggle, we moved to the lab tables and used our imaginations to change our squiggles into something else. This activity made us think divergently which is a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. I love teaching with a cross-curricula approach!
Kindergarten physicists are exploring the concept of balance. Something is in balance when all the forces that push or pull on it are stable. How is this box balancing? Discrepant events are so much fun!
The children looked at examples of how people use balance for recreational purposes, as well as in their careers. We also learned that animals use their tails to help them balance and in some countries, people transport items by balancing them on top of their heads. We noticed that if we lost our balance on a balance beam or when we stood on one foot, we threw out our arms to regain balance. Balance activities develop spatial awareness and self control.
We practiced balancing on one foot with our eyes open and closed, and then we balanced a book on our head. We walked on a balance beam and then “surfed”on a balance board.
After moving to lab tables, we attempted to balance a ruler and a balance bird.
At the end of lab, my scientists had time to explore some challenging balance games.
First graders explored the power of the magnetic force. First we felt the push and pull of magnets. Like poles repel and opposite poles attract.
Can the force travel through solids and liquids? Scientists tried to remove washers from a jar of water without spilling a drop.
Is the force strong enough to move a paper clip through solids- fabric, plastic, paper, cardboard, or fun foam? We also tried layering the objects. Is it possible to move a paperclip through the lab table, chair, or even our hand?