Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weather and Energy Activities

Hello everyone!
My post will be very short this time, I am working on a free product that I would really like to finish today so I can post it tonight or tomorrow :)
We have been working very hard on weather and weather tools... We have been talking about thermometers, wind vanes, windsocks, and rain gauges. As a lab activity, we created thermometers in our classroom.
I started looking up Google and I found the activity HERE
Here are some pictures of how they turned out; my students were very excited and engaged while creating these. We ended up running out of time, so we created a thermometer for each tables group (4 students); However, it turned out to be perfect as a group project. Each student was able to contribute by doing something in this activity. I have some students that are very outspoken, so this activity really helped them to work on heir patience and skills as a team member.

We also did our best to keep a bar graph with weather; However, with all this testing going on around, we have not been able to finish it and have a complete graph.
After our unit of weather, we proceeded to Energy. We started this unit by introducing some vocabulary such as energy, mechanical energy, light energy, heat/thermal energy, and sound energy.
We looked into each source of energy throughout the week.
For sound energy I did a demo on musical scales; you fill each bottle with an amount of water and add food coloring to differentiate one bottle from another. After the demo a played the Magic School Bus episode called "The Haunted museum". I love this episode because it deeply explains that sound is produced by vibration.
For the heat/thermal energy, we baked a "Coffee Mug Cake," HERE is the link that I used. I did this twice. My first group of students used coffee mugs, but after cooking it, we realized most of them were not mixed properly and the mugs were too small for the mix. So for my second group we switched things around. We increased the amount of the recipe so we could use the lab's equipment; we used the Mason Jars (Quart size). These jars really helped my students because they were cleared glass, so they could see the bottom of the jar and make sure it was well mixed. Also, since we increased the amounts in the recipe, we heated the mix in the microwave for 7 to 8 minutes instead of 5 minutes.
I found this picture on this website to help me with the jar sizes.

Here are some pictures of my students working in groups. Since last activity was such a success, we did this activity as groups, too. Each of them had a task to do and they worked even better than  last time.

The weather has not been on our side lately, we have been doing a lot of the "indoor" recess at our school. So we decided to stay in our classroom to eat our cake during recess. The students loved it and were very engaged during this activity.
That's all for today, I hope these activities inspired you to try them out in your classroom. I am hoping to post another page tonight or tomorrow with my freebie!
Have a great Saturday y'all!