What's Up with Puddles? Plan an Experiment
Kids are always up for investigating rain puddles. Carolina™ Curriculum has designed an activity to help students generate an investigable question and then plan an experiment. Use a graphic novel from Carolina’s Science Magnifier™ (Yellow Dot, for grades 2–3) as an attention-grabbing starting point. Then download and use an activity sheet to guide students through the steps to plan an experiment to answer their question.
Students generate a question and plan an experiment about evaporation
- Observe, measure, and record change
- Gather evidence to begin building an explanation of evaporation
- Practice developing investigable questions
- Plan an experiment based on student-generated questions
- Identify what is observed, measured, and recorded in the experiment
KIDS DISCOVER: Weather, Pack of 8 (Grades 3-5)
- Students begin this activity by viewing (using the computer lab, smart board, etc.) the graphic novel.
- Use the storyline in the graphic novel to spark a class discussion. Guiding questions include:
- What question did the kids want to answer?
- Are there any “science words” in this story?
- What are the kids observing?
- What are the kids measuring? How? What tool are they using? Might there be another way to measure? Another tool to use?
- Do you think they measured one time? Many times? Why do you think so?
- What do you need to do this experiment?
- What might be a good way to record the results?
- With younger students, consider asking the question to start a whole-group discussion (using chart paper to record student ideas/questions).
- Older students can work in teams of 2 or 4 to generate a question. Use the question as an opportunity for students to “think about it” and to record their questions on Student Activity Sheet: Plan an Experiment.
- Use items in your experiment that are easily found in our classroom or brought in from home.
- Have your teacher review your experimental plan and materials before you set up the experiment.
- Follow class rules for safety in science lab.
Science Magnifier™ (Yellow Dot), pgs. 202, 203; Science Magnifier™ (Blue Dot, for grades 4–5), pgs. 230, 231
Teacher background information:
- Evaporation: A process in which the sun heats liquid water and changes it into a gas.
—Glossary, Science Magnifier™ (Blue Dot)
- Rates of Evaporation: A number of variables affect the rate of evaporation. Heating accelerates evaporation, and in nature the sun powers the process, transforming liquid water drawn from oceans, lakes, and soils into vapor. The surface area of the water is also a factor: the greater the surface area, the greater the rate of evaporation. Low humidity favors evaporation as water vapor moves more readily into drier air. When the air is moving, the rate of evaporation also increases. Thus, wet laundry dries more quickly on a clothesline in the sun on a dry and windy day. These variables all make excellent topics for experiments. — Teacher Background Information, Building Blocks of Science® Weather and the Water Cycle
- Water Cycle Diagram
- Science Magnifier™
- Building Blocks of Science® unit Weather and the Water Cycle
- STC® Unit Changes, 2nd Edition
- KIDS DISCOVER Changes, Pack of 8
- STC® Unit Weather, 2nd Edition
- KIDS DISCOVER Weather, Pack of 8
Submit student work:
The I Teach Inquiry® Network is a great place to share student work with other teachers online.