Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weather & a Freebie! :)

For our last few weeks of school before intersession, my kiddos and I are diving into the world of weather!  We've talked about seasons and how weather changes, including animals hibernating.. Today, we did an experiment on the water cycle and the kids LOVED it! (Actually they pretty much came up with it even though I already planned it haha- I asked them how we could observe the water cycle with the materials we had) So I thought I would share in case people haven't used this experiment before.  

Basically you need the following: 2 Glass Jars, A Plastic baggie, some ice, a rubber band, and hot water-I brought in a crock pot and started heating the water about an hour before.  You might need to heat it longer depending in how much water you are using. Ok, so here's what we did:

*We put hot water in both jars (About halfway full)
*One jar we left completely open
*The other jar, we covered with a plastic baggie filled with some ice- I used the rubber band to hold it in place but if the opening on your jar isn't too big, the bag will probably stay on without the rubber band
*Then we waited... 

They noticed the steam coming out of the uncovered jar, and we identified that as water vapor.  Then I asked what was happening with the water in the covered jar.. why didn't we see the steam? They saw the water condensing towards the top of the jar - which we concluded would be the clouds up in the air ... Then, after about 5-7 minutes, it started to rain (Just a drop or two at a time- but it worked!) They concluded that the raindrops were falling because they were now too heavy to hang onto the bag, so they fell back into the water.   I had them head back to their seats and draw what they noticed in their science journal.  Then, I gave them this cute little sheet I made of the water cycle (Below)  I had them cut out the descriptions and glue them to the correct spot, color the scene, and then we reviewed the water cycle.  Viola!! Experiment and Lesson on the water cycle.  Fun, Engaging, and they really learned!

So, I know many of you have used this experiment before..but maybe some of you haven't. And if you have, here's the water cycle sheet they did for Free!

Hope you guys can use it!  What do you do for your weather unit?  I need some more ideas :)