Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sink or Float?

We just completed a Nursery Rhyme unit in my K class, and one of the activities we did was a sink or float experiment.  I wondered aloud what would float in Jack and Jill's pail of water.  Then, we intro'ed the activity by watching these YouTube videos:

It is a Sesame Street experiment where it takes students through the entire scientific method (it was our first time doing it) and actually experiments with several units that sink or float, which works great because it helps students make an HYPOTHESIS instead of a guess, because they have some level of background knowledge.  Plus, my kids just love it when we start an activity with a video clip.  Totally grabs their attention!

Afterwards, they go to stations where there is a bucket of water and six items.  They make an hypothesis by coloring the circle green or red, and then they test the items.  Once they find out if the item sank or floated, we cut out the box and glued it onto our water tank at the top or bottom.  This allows students to clearly see if their hypothesis was right.

At first, some students were upset about their hypothesis being wrong, but then I explained to them that if scientists never made wrong hypothesis', then we would never learn anything new.  They totally dug that up!  At the end we discuss why some things sank and some floated.

This was one of the most popular things we did all year - the kids loved it.  One parent told me her child kept wanting to try everything in their house, and wouldn't get out of the bathtub until she tried everything in the bathroom.  We included as part of our Student Led Conference stations, and they were SO excited to show their parents what they learned.

Anyway, feel free to download the sink or float experiment logs!  I will share more of our nursery rhyme unit this week.


  1. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is afantastic idea.. thanks for sharing:)

    Dropping in from Show n Tell...

  3. I really like this idea! We are beginning our Sea Life unit in Kindergarten and this fits very nicely into our lessons. Thanks for sharing!