Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ................................................................................................................painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Preschool Chemistry (grades Pre-K-Kindergarten)


Weeks 1-11: Water: Raindrops and Oil Drops
  1. Teach the skill of observation. Observation takes time and uses different senses. Use measurement tools, if possible. Have your student give you specific observations using descriptive language for you to write in his science journal. Have your student observe a drop of water on wax paper and make observations about it.
  2. Put another drop of water and drops of other liquids on the wax paper. Observe and compare. Other liquids may include vinegar, oil, syrup, milk and juice. Bump the wax paper slightly so each liquid moves. Have your student draw each drop in his journal and label. Have him narrate to you other observations about the drops.
  3. Add food coloring to the water. Put a drop on the waxed paper about 1 cm in diameter. Put a drop of oil near the water. Have your student make a hypothesis about what will happen when the oil drop and water drop mix. Then move the paper so that the drops come together and have your student observe what happens. Have him draw a picture and help him label it.
  4. Explore the property of cohesion. Tell the student that water sticks together. He will probably remember that water maintained its shape while the other liquids did not. Wet two plastic bags and hold them together. Give them to the student to pull apart. Ask him to describe what happened and record this in his science journal.
  5. Give the student a straw and a sheet of wax paper. Place a small amount of cornstarch in the center of the waxed paper. Have him gently blow at the cornstarch. Have him describe what happened and record this in his science journal. Now place a 1 cm drop of water on a clean piece of waxed paper. Have him blow at the water. Have him describe what happened and record this in his science journal. Have him make a sketch of it in his science journal.
  6. Put a drop of water on waxed paper. Have the student experiment with a toothpick and draw a picture of what happened. Have him narrate to you a description of what happened for you to record next to his picture. If the water drop does break into smaller water drops, have him explore how to bring them back together.
  7. Explore the property of surface tension. On a table, place a penny on a paper towel. Have him guess how many drops of water will fit on the surface of a penny. Using an eyedropper, have the student add and count the drops of water until the water spills over onto the paper towel. Have the student repeat the experiment as many times as he would like, each time recording the results in his science journal. Dry the penny between tries. Ask him to observe the water on the penny and propose why he thinks the water acted like it did.
  8. Fill a glass to the brim with water and place it on a paper towel on a table. Ask him to predict how many paperclips he will be able to place in the glass before the water overflows. You can vary the experiment by using pennies instead of paper clips or by using other liquids. Have him narrate his findings in his science journal.
  9. A paper clip normally sinks in water. However, if the student is careful, he may be able to make a small paper clip rest on the surface of the water. Ask him to propose a solution as to why this can happen. The strong surface tension is supporting the paper clip.
  10. Fill a shallow pan with more than one inch of water. Ask student to predict what will happen when you sprinkle some talcum powder or cinnamon over the surface. Have him observe what happens. Dip a toothpick in some detergent and then into the center of the dish. Ask him to describe what happened and propose and explanation and record this in his science journal.
  11. Try the penny exploration (#7) with soapy water.
  12. Mix a 1/2 cup of dishwashing detergent and 1 quart of water in a dishpan. Make a bubble frame or use one that you already have. Allow the student to explore and have fun playing.
  13. Pour a cup of milk in a bowl. Drop one drop of red food coloring on one side of the bowl. Have the student predict what will happen when you drop yellow food coloring into the bowl. Have him observe, propose an explanation and record this in his science journal.
Weeks 12-13: Sink and Float
  1. Gather many common objects for exploration. Provide a dishpan with water. Have the student guess whether the objects will sink or float and have him try each one. Record the findings in his science journal.
  2. Tightly crumple a 5 inch by 5 inch piece of foil and drop it into the water. It should sink. Then, place a flat piece of foil on the surface of the water and watch it float. Have your student find out at what point the foil sinks. Fold the foil once and check whether it floats, fold it twice and check and so on. Each time record the results in his science journal.
  3. Have the student roll out a small piece of clay and shape it into a boat. Ask him to predict whether it will float or sink in the water and then test it. Have him crumple the boat into a ball and predict what will happen when it is put in the water. Have him test it and record all the results in his science journal.
  4. Fill a glass with a clear carbonated beverage. Drop 4-5 raisins in the liquid. Observe the raisins as they float and sink with the bubbles. Have your student draw what he saw in his science journal.
Weeks 14-17: Observing Solids, Liquids and Gases
  1. Have the student observe the attributes of solids by gathering objects from around the house. What do they all have in common?
  2. Have the student observe the attributes of liquids by gathering some from around the house. What do they all have in common? Discuss the difference between Liquids and Solids
  3. Have the student observe the attributes of gases. Carbon dioxide is a gas that is produced by exhaling. Capture your breath in a balloon or plastic bag. Carbon dioxide is also a gas that is produced when vinegar and baking soda are mixed. Put vinegar in an empty soda bottle. Put 1 Tab. baking soda in a balloon. Secure the opening of the balloon around the mouth of the soda bottle and empty the baking soda into the vinegar. Capture the gas in the balloon. 
  4. Demonstrate that gases take up space. Put water in a large glass bowl or aquarium. Stuff one paper towel in the bottom of a glass. Ask your student to predict what will happen to the paper towel when you put the glass in the water. Turn the glass upside down, making sure the paper towel does not fall out. Bring the glass straight down into the water. The towel should not get wet. Lead the student to propose that there is air in the glass and that the air takes up space. The water cannot fill the same space as the air. 
Weeks 18-20: Water as a Gas
  1. Put cold water in a saucepan and put it on the stove. Ask him to draw a picture of the pan on the stove and describe what will happen when the water is heated. Observe the water and have the student describe what happens as the water heats. After the water has boiled for about 10 minutes, ask him to draw a second picture of the pan and label the changes. Ask him to explain where the water is now and record this in his journal.
  2. Gather three wide-mouth jars and put one cup of water in each jar. Place one by a sunny window, one near a heat source and the third in a cool, dark place. Have the student draw each jar and describe each location. Have him place a ruler along the side of jar and note the water level in centimeters from the table top. Observe and measure the water level for several days.
  3. Pour a half-cup water on a plate and set it in a sunny window. Pour a half-cup water in a plastic bag, seal it and set it in a sunny window. After 3-4 days, pour the water from the plate into a half-cup measuring cup and observe the water level. Pour the water from the plastic bag into a half-cup measuring cup and observe. Ask the student to make a conclusion and record this in his science journal.
Weeks 21-23: Water as a Solid 
  1. Ask your student if he has ever seen water in a solid form. Have him propose how to change liquid water into a solid. Follow his plan and check the progress periodically as it changes into ice. Record his observations and pictures in his science journal.
  2. What is it? An activity about making inferences.
  3. Secret Formulas: Paste
Weeks 24-26: Secret Formulas
  1. Secret Formulas: Cola Taste Test
  2. Secret Formulas: How Sweet IS Coke?
  3. Secret Formulas: To Each His Own Cola
Weeks 27-30: More Secret Formulas
  1. Secret Formulas: Ice Cream
  2. Secret Formulas: Toothpaste
  3. Secret Formulas: Testing Clean Abilities
  4. Secret Formulas: Making Toothpaste
Weeks 31-32: Dissolving and Mixing
  1. Swirling Colors: Exercises in Dissolving
  2. To Mix or Not to Mix
Weeks 33-35: Dissolving and Absorbing
  1. Involving Dissolving
  2. Gelatin Disks
  3. Water Beads
Week 36: Atoms

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