Monday, 26 June 2017

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 8 - Genetic calculator

This activity uses a simulator from this website
It fits in really will with the reproduction unit because they can put their details in, choose a partner, have a baby and see what it looks like.  Genetics is complicated but extremely interesting.  I have used tongue rolling as an example of how we inherit genes from our parents because it only has two options can or can't.  Use a dice or a coin to talk about what we inherit because it really is that random. 


This activity is connected to the Reproduction unit.  Let the students play around with the simulator.  I have put some investigations in the worksheet but they have many solutions, they are just there to guide their inquiries.

Link to activity (pdf):  Genetic calculator activity

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 7 - Carbohydrate vs. Sugar

This experiment uses yeast to look at how living things get energy from different foods.  Yeast generates gas through fermentation when it is consuming a food source and it does not need oxygen so it is possible to catch the gas generated using balloons.  Sugar is fast energy that does not last very long.  Carbohydrate is not so fast but it lasts for longer.  Bread, biscuits, crisps and different types of sugar are all interesting things to compare.  The quick version of the experiment only looks at how fast the balloons pop up but if you leave them longer and tape the balloons tight, you can look the next day to see how big they get.

This activity is connected to the Nutrition unit.  Talk about control experiments, here there are bottles that do not contain yeast and one does not contain food - to show the students that these ingredients are important and they have a reference to compare their positive results to.

Link to activity (pdf):  Carbohydrate vs. Sugar

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 6 - Nutrients in Food

 Test different foods to see if they contain carbohydrate (iodine test) or fat (alcohol/water emulsion).  With these two simple and effective tests, the students can classify different foods by nutrients.  

This activity is connected to the Nutrition unit.  Rather than just having students learn the different food groups, let them find out for themselves.  Keep the food labels so that the students can look at them afterwards and see if they were correct - literacy at understanding nutritional information.

Link to activity (pdf):  Food Testing Experiment

Friday, 23 June 2017

Robótica Infantil - 4 años by Janet

Janet did this activity with infantil 4 años and it was incredible and great fun.  The children designed, made, tested and created art using drawing machines/robots.
First she showed them the material:
  • Electric toothbrushes (Mercadona 3.50 Euros)
  • Walking and jumping wind-up toys
  • Plastic cups
  • Masking tape
  • CDs
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Big ads small felt tip pens
Then they drew a plan.  Then they constructed their drawing robot and tried it out on A4 paper at their tables.  Once they had something that drew, everyone collected their robots together on a big piece of paper on the floor and they made their robots draw by themselves.

We took the robots apart at the end and used the materials again with another class.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 5 - Energy in Food

This activity involves burning small amounts of food eg. nuts and catching the heat in water.  Different foods contain different amounts of energy so they give off different amounts of heat when you burn them.  You will probably need to demonstrate the activity to the class before they do it and you will definitely need to talk through the safety with them before they start.  The activity needs preparation, but it is very robust and the students can calculate actual energy values for the foods that they burn.  If you are not feeling brave enough to do it as a whole class activity, try it as a student demonstration at the front of the class.
This activity is connected to the Nutrition unit.  Talk about the errors and unfair things that they will inevitably do, introduce the idea that you only change one thing, you measure one thing and everything else stays the same.

Link to activity (pdf): Energy in Food Activity

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 4 - Food and pH testing

This is my favourite experiment to do with primary.  I've done it with 1o and 6o using more or less the same worksheet and lesson plan (see link below).  It could not be more perfect, it has mixing liquids, it has colours, it has a new measuring scale and they can do it themselves.  I chose the foods and household chemicals quite carefully to give the students the idea that foods are generally acids or neutral whereas household chemicals are usually alkalis (not always) and we don't eat them because they react violently in our stomach (think about mixing vinegar and sodium bicarbonate).

This activity is connected to the Nutrition unit.  You are introducing a new way of measuring, with colour and a chemical measuring scale (pH).  They don't really need to know what it is, they can just enjoy using it and classify the things they test into acids, neutrals and alkalis.

Link to activity (pdf): Food and pH testing

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 3 - Intestines and Digestion

I don't think that many people think about how food gets chewed and mashed up in the digestive system.  This activity has the students being the muscles around the intestine physically digesting food, moving it along and finally doing a poo!  The activity focuses on the physical processes that enable food and nutrients to pass from the intestine into the blood stream.

This activity is connected to the Nutrition unit.  Ideas include the effect of saliva/liquid and chewing, cooking and how fast different component of food are absorbed.

Link to activity (pdf): Intestines and Digestion Activity

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 2 - Measuring reaction time

This activity uses the fall distance of a ruler as a measure of student's reaction time.  It is easy to organise, fun and gives you good material for a maths class to follow up the activity.

This activity is connected to the Interactions unit.  This activity is about data collection, fair testing and the concept of using more data to generate an average answer. 

Link to activity (pdf): Reaction Times Activity

Hands on Science Sexto: Activity 1 - Making a model eye

We made working models of the eye from shoe boxes.  The image is projected onto a screen in the box and appears upside-down.  I've seen both children and adults (including teachers) trying to correct the image by turning the cardboard box round!

This activity is connected to the Interactions unit.  See if the students can draw a diagram and work out why the image is reversed.

Link to activity (pdf): Making a model eye

Hands on Science for Sexto

I've finally started writing the book of activities for sexto and I'm going to post the activities one-by-one as I write them.  I plan to write 20 activities and one project and I've done 5 so far. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sunblock experiment

The Importance of protecting your skin from the Sun. DIY

Leave a black paper in a sunny spot outside for a few hours.
After a few hours, observe the paper. What happened to the side without sunscreen? Is it still dark-colored? How is the side with sunscreen different from the side without sunscreen?

We think about some other ways that people can protect themselves from sunburn: hats, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, or even just sitting in the shade.

Remember to use sunscreen!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Ice painting

Students love to use the melting paint over paper, creating beautiful designs. They'll practice their color recognition while observing paint going from a liquid state to a solid state and vice versa.
Ice paint is also a great tool for teaching your students about color mixing. Freeze only yellow and red paint cubes, and let them discover what results from using those colours together. As they melt, the paints will magically mix into a new color!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Using Senses to Find Water - Infantil 3 años

This is an activity I did in infantil 3 años when they were learning about the characteristics of water.  We looked at the visual appearance, the smell and the taste of pure water.  I made a chart to record our results; they all sat on the floor and passed around different containers to test their senses and powers of observation.  They had to decide which container had pure water in it.

For appearance and smell, I put samples into identical tubes that the students passed around and looked at or passed around and smelled.  For taste, they passed around cups of flavoured water (and one of pure water) and tasted them.  We recorded the results on the chart when they decided which sample A, B, C or D contained the pure water.

This was what I used for visual appearance, hair gel, pure water, sunflower oil and balsamic vinegar.

For smell, I used alcohol, cinnamon oil (any essential oil or perfume in water), a few drops of ammonia in lots of water and pure water.  Diluted vinegar is good too, as is acetone, but it dissolves plastic tubes. 

For taste, sugar water, onion water (grated onion, mixed with water and sieved to give a clear liquid - super bitter and yucky!), pure water and salt water were good because you can't really see a difference and they don't smell.  Lemon water is works too, but you can usually see bits of lemon in it and it smells. 

I passed all the different samples round the class so everyone could try.  We also talked about what they thought the samples were (then I told them) and the clues that they had used to decide - especially for the visual appearance.  I did this with my son's class of infantil 3 años and it was the first activity that I did in Spanish.