Friday, February 3, 2012

Science Activity - Melting Snow

This winter, in my neck of the woods, has been really odd this year.  Usually we are up to our eyeballs in snow, but this year we've only had a couple of minor snowfalls.  A few days ago it even got up to 55 degrees and we were able to take a bike ride to the park! In my lesson plan for this week I had down that I wanted to do a science activity about measuring how much water is in snow, and since there was still a little snow on the ground on Monday, we did it right then before it could melt!

Trevor is always super excited to do science activities, and this one was no different =)

First we scooped snow off of our balcony into a large pyrex bowl.  Here's Trevor trying not to get his toes cold!




Oh boy, I think this is going to take a while!




After we all took turns scooping, we got the bowl filled up!




Next we measured how much snow we collected (it was about 6c. even thought this picture makes it look like more...) Then we reviewed what snow is made of and how we could make the snow turn back into water.  I figured that we could just leave the snow sit for a while, but Trevor mentioned using the microwave, so that's what we did!  It was a nice option because he was able to watch it melt from snow to water right before his eyes!

Here is what we were left with!  I asked Trevor to look and wee how much water we got and this is what he did...Oh, little boys =)




The 6c. of snow yielded about 1c. of water.  To make sure that I got the story right, I found a website that did the same experiment and they had a great explanation of why snow takes up more room than water.  From HomeTrainingTools ...

Snow is made when water freezes in the form of ice crystals that we call snowflakes. The pointed star-like shape of a snowflake causes its points to stick out far from its body, allowing the snowflake to take up a lot of room. (If you stick your arms straight out from your body, something similar would happen with you! Your arms cause your body to take up more space and you may find yourself bumping into walls or having a hard time making your way down a hallway with your arms sticking straight out.) When lots of snowflakes pile up, their points keep them from getting very close together, creating empty space in between the snowflakes. When the snow melts into water, the snowflakes no longer have their points, and the space between them disappears. (If you put your arms down next to your body, you are no longer taking up so much space and can get much closer to other people and things.) So the melted snow takes up less space as water than it did as snowflakes.

What a great explanation!  To help them understand, I had Trevor and Mackenzie pretend to be snowflakes and stand with their arms out and I asked them to stand as close as they could.  They saw that they could only get so close before their arms ran into each other.  Then they 'melted' into water by putting their arms down, and now they could stand right next to each other, taking up far less room!  I'm sure they didn't really get the correlation between this and the snow, but it was fun to do =)

Have you gotten as much snow as usual for your area?  What fun learning activities have you done in the snow with your kids?





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21 comments:

  1. So fun! I used to teach 1st grade, they would have loved this!
    Catherine
    tbc-tobecontinued.blogspot.com

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  2. Love this! Just found your blog! Amazing!

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  3. New follower stopping by from Preschool Corner. Lots of great ideas!

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  4. What a great idea. Too bad we probably won't be seeing any snow this year, since it has been in the 60s and 70s this week. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  5. I think I'll have to borrow that idea...before our snow is completely melted. My boys would love it!

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  6. How fun!! Thank you for sharing such a great lesson on Sharing Saturday. If we ever get more snow, we will have to try this.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. I found you through the Living Life Intentionally Linky Party. I think my daughter would enjoy doing this. The other day she was watching ice melt.

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  8. love it love it so fun to see what happens with kids we have did all sorts of fun activities before one of our favorites is turning an egg into a rubber ball
    come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  9. We only had a few snow falls as well in upstate NY...The one week we had snow we did some tracking activities..However I'm in the city so it was either a cat or a squirrel we were hot on the trail of but he still liked it..Then we made some human tracks!! Then I was forced to discuss the possibilities of Sasquatch tracks all month long....

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    1. We did that last year in the summer (went looking for tracks at a local park), but all we ever got was dog and bike tracks lol!

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  10. Wish we got snow! I'm booking marking this for the rare day that we do get it!!! Great fun!!!

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  11. This is such a fun idea--I love how visual it is! Thanks so much for linking up to Teach Me Tuesday!!

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  12. We loved science the best when we did our home-school. You are a marvelous teacher. I am praying many will see your blog and be encouraged!

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    1. You always bless my heart with your sweetness. Thanks again for stopping by!

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  13. Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday Link Party!
    Hope you can join me again tomorrow

    Natasha xx

    www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

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  14. Thank you to everyone for your comments! I hope you enjoy the experiment if you get the chance to do it with your kids!

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  15. I love the explanation about the snowflakes and why they take up more room. I have never thought about teaching a science lesson about snow in this way. Very creative. Thanks for linking up to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

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  16. Hi Amy! I just wanted to let you know that this was one of the top three most clicked on links at last week's Teach Me Tuesday linky party, so I'm featuring it today! Thanks again for linking up and congratulations!!

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    1. Carla, thanks for letting me know! I'll head over and check it out =)

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  17. What fun, i love the way you got the children to stand with arms out being snowflakes!

    Thanks so much for linking to Fun Sparks,

    Emma

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  18. Thank you for sharing all of these. I love the snow activity, but one problem, it doesn't snow where I live. (Rio Grande valley Texas)the tip of Texas. I had to mix some baking soda and conditioner to make snow. But over all love it.

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