Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saltwater vs. Freshwater Experiment

As part of an ongoing project for my training coursework, I decided to introduce the children to an experiment with saltwater and freshwater.  I thought this would be an ideal time to cover the topic given that we have been talking about the beach/ocean and have been integrating a "summer" theme into the classroom. 

We have been discussing various types of bodies of water for some time and the children know about rivers and lakes.  Through their prior knowledge, they were able make connections with the different type of water we find in an ocean.  I presented this lesson at circletime to a very excited bunch of kids!  "Oh!  An experiment, I love experiments!" 

First, we filled the bowls with water.  Then, we added salt to one of the bowls.  We used popsicle sticks to take a "taste test" of the different types of water.  Their faces were priceless as they discovered the taste of the salt water!  Next, I showed an egg and asked what they thought would happen if we put it in the freshwater.  Then, we placed it in the bowl and watched it sink.  I asked what would happen if we placed it in the saltwater and then, to the delightful amazement of the kids, we watched it float!

I explained to the children that I would set this activity up at a table, but rather than using an egg, they could use a bar of soap.  Here is the lesson set up at a table:


Saltwater vs. Freshwater:   bar of soap in soapdish; two bowls of water - one with salt added; small towel for wiping any spills and drying fingers.  I added the book for interest and a globe so that the child could visualize the concept of 'oceans'.
 
"It floats in saltwater!"



18 comments:

  1. Another great Montessori lesson! I just love the science and geography experiments (3 to 6 & 6 to 9)! I think some Montessori teachers miss out on them! Such an important hands-on experience! Kudos! I pinned you on my Montessori Pinteest board again!

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  2. Thank you, Lisa! Yes, I too, love the science and geography experiments and hope to do more of them! Thanks for reading and leaving your kind comment.
    Sasha

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  3. I'm having fun revisiting your ocean posts, Sasha! Great activity ... and I remember my kids loving that series of books when they were little! I featured your photo and post in my Montessori-Inspired Resources for World Ocean Day at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/06/08/montessori-inspired-resources-for-world-ocean-day/

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    1. Thank you, Deb for featuring my photo and post about this activity! It is so simple, yet effective and the kids love it. Thanks again!
      Sasha

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  4. I'm just discovering your blog - I came here from Living Montessori Now. This is a great activity - can't wait to do it with my kids. Thanks!

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    1. Welcome, Natasha! I'm so glad you found me through Living Montessori Now. Have fun with this activity! :)
      Sasha

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  5. Love this so much! I just received my certification and am teaching in a new school and setting up my Practical Life shelves! I keep coming back to your blog and looking at how beautiful your entire classroom is! A true Montessori environment! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Carol. I really appreciate your kind words as I always strive to be sure my classroom is beautiful and authentic!

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  6. Awesome idea! I am going to try it in my 3 year old room if you don't mind.:) Love it!

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    1. Sounds great - threes will LOVE it for sure! Good luck and thanks for reading!
      Sasha

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  7. Love the idea! I will use this investigation with my pre-schoolers! I teach at a Math & Science Academy for toddlers thru Kinder.

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  8. Thanks, Jessamine! I know your kids will love it - have fun! :)

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  9. Thank you very much for this blog.I need to start montessorie with my little 3 years daughter but I feel confused and troubled I don't know from where to start.

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  10. Thank you for your blog. I use some of your ideas for my homeschooling classroom - I have five little ones all learning this lesson! Thank you for your efforts.

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  11. I'm so glad you have found it useful! Thanks for reading and taking time to comment!

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  12. Gracias, me va a ayudar mucho. Me encantan los experimentos.

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  13. How much salt to water. My egg sunk in the saltwater. Love the idea, but want to see it work.

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  14. This is perfect! I'm about to start an ocean unit with my kids, and I knew I wanted to do a fresh water vs. salt water experiment, but didn't know of an object that would sink in fresh water and float in salt water. Thanks to your post, however, I now know I can use either an egg or a bar of soap!

    And I'm definitely going to have my kids taste both. That's a great idea too!

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