Monday, January 26, 2015

Writing Like a Scientist

You may wonder what we need all of these materials for?  Well, we decided to write like scientists and think about the world around us.  In doing so, we read a book about penguins.  I love doing arctic animals this time of year.  I find them so fascinating, and of course my kids love learning about them!

After we read our book about penguins, we made an anchor chart that shared all the fun facts we learned.

We then started asking questions about the world around us.  We thought about things penguins are exposed to daily that we might not be exposed to.  We also compared things we have in common.  We wanted to write like a scientist and the first step is to ask a question.

We finally came up with a question we wanted learn more about.  

What material will cause ice to melt the fastest?

What a great question!  We then came up with different materials we wanted to test.  The kids chose warm water and salt.  I added sugar and rock salt.  We had four items to test and we learned about the fancy word control.  This is when you have one item that is not tested with anything.  This way we can compare our results.

We started writing our science experiment as a lab report.  We wrote our question, made a hypothesis, and then wrote out the procedure of how we would test the experiment.  Students were so eager to test the ice!

So, I gathered up all the materials and brought them into school.  We all huddled around the table and watched the ice cubes in each container.  We placed the same amount of materials on each ice cube and watched how the materials affected the ice.  

As we watched, every 3-4 minutes we wrote down our observations.  However, our first observation was after 30 seconds.  

The students did a great job writing down what they noticed and how the ice changed over time.  It took 20 minutes and 30 seconds for one of the ice cubes to melt.  The ice cube in warm water melted the fastest.  The rock salt came in second.

We then talked about why the warm water was first and the rock salt was second.  We also discussed why we use rock salt outside to melt the ice instead of warm water.  The students had a great discussion and also noticed that the rock salt almost absorbs the water from the ice making it more efficient outside when trying to get rid of ice and water.  

Isn't it fun combining writing and science?  We were able to cover so many second grade standards in one lesson!

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