Friday, May 8, 2015

Water, Water Everywhere

We have been thinking a LOT about our earth these last few months.  A big part of our social studies curriculum is studying continents, but what about all that "blue" on the map?  What about all the rivers and lakes of blue that cut through our continents?  We decided that we needed to "zoom in" on that feature, water, and think about it a little more.

Our first task was to think about how we as individuals use water.  Every student mentally walked through a normal day, and tallied how many times they used water (to wash hands brush teeth, drink, bathe, etc.).

Some students had tallies around 10, others around 30, in one day!  Wow!  We realized that we really, really need water every day!

Each child shared their findings with their writing partner, including illustrations of two ways they use water.

On the second day, we examined the app Barefoot Atlas on the ipad and zoomed in on "the floating garbage pile" that is featured floating in the Pacific Ocean.

We brainstormed how we could clean dirty water--some children mentioned nets, some mentioned using scuba divers.  But we needed to get our hands dirty to really figure it out!

Each child paired with their writing partner and got a few tools--paintbrushes, sponges, sponge-brushes, spoons, oral syringes, toothbrushes.  The teachers came along and added a material to each tub of water.  The children then observed what happened when they tried to clean their water. Some questions they pondered were: which tools are most effective?  least effective?  Are we successful in cleaning the water?

Cleaning shaving cream from water

Cleaning yellow paint from the water

Trying to clear glitter from water

It's hard to separate soil from water!

Cleaning water made green from finger paint

Clearing the dirt from water

Getting the soap out of water
After the experiment, we came inside and documented our observations.  We "debriefed" as a class and shared our findings.  Most children agreed that once water gets dirty, it is awfully hard to clean, but some tools might be better than others.  Good job, scientists!


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