Soak it Up! It's All in the Paper!
Lesson 6 of 6
Objective: SWBAT explain why different types of paper are use for different tasks by testing water absorption.
This lesson is an extension of We're Going on a Paper Hunt, the first lesson in this unit. The difference is that it specifically and intensely focuses solely on paper, rather than both wood and paper.
I have the kids come to the carpet one table at a time to sit like scientists. I ask them to silently look around the room and list in their minds all the things they see around them that is made out of paper.
I then have them turn to their floor partner and take turns stating one item at a time that they saw made from paper. I give the kids 30 seconds to take turns naming off as many items as they can.
When the 30 seconds are up, I call on volunteers to share different ways paper is used. I record their ideas on chart paper.
After they have exhausted their ideas, I ask the kids to think about what different types of paper should be able to do. For instance, would I use the same kind of paper to mail a package as I would to clean up spilled soda?
After a quick discussion, I tell the kids that we are going to look at a single property, absorption. I give a child-friendly definition of absorption, "soaks liquid up." I tell them that today we are going to see what different types of paper does when water is put on it.
on the table to share -
2 eye droppers
container of water
paper samples, one for each student -
craft paper (the stuff paper lunch sacks are made out of)
news print paper
square of toilet paper
The kids are still seated on the floor as I call one table leader at a time up to get their tub of paper samples and take it to their tables. The water and eye droppers are already on the tables. I then guide the kids through the process of testing each type of paper. I record their findings on chart paper as we investigate by taping up a sample of each type of paper and circling either "yes, no or a little" next to it. At the end of this investigation, they will use the information recorded to complete their own chart.
- I hold up one type of paper sample and have the table leader find their table's samples and hand them out. I assist as needed.
- Once they are all holding up the correct sample, I have them place the sample on the table in front of them and tell them to use the eye droppers to put 4 drops of water on it.
- I ask the kids to tell me what happened and I record their findings by circling, "yes, no or a little" for how well it absorbed water.
We repeat these steps for each sample of paper. I do it this way to keep the kids on task and focused. I keep the conversations and focus on the interaction between the water and the paper. I have the kids use the words absorption and absorb as often as possible so they can grasp the meaning of the concept.
The kids work together to clean up the tables. The table leader brings the water and eye droppers to the sink, another puts the paper samples in the trash, and two get paper towels and wipes up the water.
When the tables are clean, the kids come to the floor to see the demonstration of their evaluation tasks.
I hold up the recording sheet that they will complete by using the information recorded on the chart paper. This is appropriate for kinder because they are just learning to record information. I explain and demonstrate the steps:
- Glue the paper sample in the first box.
- Circle yes, no or a little, as it is seen on the chart paper recording sheet.
- When you have recorded the information for each type of paper, get your science journal and draw and write about what you did today. The write about one type of paper you could use and how you would use it.
I send the kids back to their tables and choose a student to hand out the recording sheets. As the kids work, I roam the room as ask questions like:
- What is something you could do with this type of paper? Why would it be the best type of paper for that?
- Why do you think that paper absorbed so much water?
- Why do you think that paper didn't absorb any paper?
I do this to check for understanding and to increase the kids' skills in analyzing information and making statements with evidence. When the kids have finished writing their entry in their science journal, we gather back on the floor to share what we wrote with our floor partner.
To close the lesson, I pull three to four random name sticks from a name stick can and ask those kids to share what they've learned with the whole class. This brings the learning together and provides a flowing closure and transition to the extension of this lesson.