Fun and Learning? In the same sentence? How can that be? Yes, learning can be fun. If you have been reading my blogs for very long, you know science is not my best subject. However, there is one science objective I do understand and always enjoyed teaching in my class. That objective is change. Physical and chemical change. I loved teaching the difference in a fun way. Here are some fun ways to teach the difference.
How to Tell Chemical & Physical Changes Apart About.com explains the difference like this: A chemical change makes a substance that wasn't there before. There may be clues that a chemical reaction took place, such as light, heat, color change, gas production, odor, or sound. The starting and ending materials of a physical change are the same, even though they may look different.
Physical change can be taught by making things like homemade ice cream. Here is how I did it in the classroom.
1 empty 3 lb coffee can with lid
1 empty 1 lb coffee can with lid
1 pint half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix half and half, sugar, and vanilla. Pour into 1 lb coffee can. Put lid on can. Seal lid with mailing tape. Place 1lb can in 3 lb can. Put a handful of crushed ice around 1 lb can. Sprinkle ice with rock salt. Continue alternating ice and salt until 1 lb can is covered. Do not put salt on top of the lid of 1 lb can. (It tends to seep into the ice cream and make it salty.) Place lid on 3 lb can and seal with mailing tape.
Have children sit on the floor and roll the 3 lb can back and forth for approximately 15 minutes. Carefully open the 3 lb can and remove 1 lb can. Wipe lid to make sure it is clear of salt. Open the lid and check to see if the ice cream if in soft serve stage. Serve to the children. (This ice cream will not become solid like purchased ice cream. It will be in a soft serve stage.)
Chemical change can be taught by making fun things like Flubber.
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon Borax
1 4oz. bottle of Elmer's glue
In one bowl dissolve Borax in 1/2 cup of water. In a different bowl dissolve glue in 1 cup of water. Add food color to desired color. When glue is completely dissolved, mix the two mixtures together. When it starts to solidify, use your hands to continue mixing the substance together.Allow the child to help with every step. This activity involves science and math (measuring).