What happens when you combine 13 primary one children, some food colouring, a flask of cold water, a kettle and a very magic suitcase? A unit of inquiry lesson learning all about solids, liquids and gases, of course!
As part of our topic to facilitate a real hands on approach we set up an investigation to establish what happens to water in its raw form when it is either heated up or cooled down. After a very exciting series of fair tests we found out that it can either become a solid or a gas and then when reversed it is able to form a liquid again!
As part of the investigation, the children were invited to predict whether they thought that the ice cube that was dropped into the cold water or warm water would melt first. This brought much excitement as they watched with interest as their coloured ice cube melted with a series of fascinating results.
Next, they were each given an ice cube to hold to establish who had the warmest hands!
For homework, they were all then given the opportunity to carry on the investigation. They had to find an alternative condition to those that we chose in the classroom and to observe what happens to an ice cube when placed in a location of their choice. It was evident from all their wonderful further investigating at home that they were able to conclude that ice melts most quickly when exposed to heat.
We then combined our unit of inquiry lesson with our writing lesson and made some jelly. First, the children were all invited to order a series of pictures to determine what they thought was the right order for how to make the jelly. Whilst doing this, the children were encouraged to use the language appropriate to procedural writing in preparation for writing up their own set of instructions.
Next, we made the jelly by carefully following the instructions. We observed how the water in the kettle at boiling point converted to steam and then back to liquid again when it came into contact with a surface. Then, when the cubes of jelly had fully dissolved we poured it into a mould and put it in the fridge to solidify. Finally, we got to taste the fruits of our labour - it was delicious!
Suzy Letheren, Primary 1 Teacher