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One of my favorite things about Unit Studies is the ability to go deep in a unit and really let the kids explore the various facets of what makes that topic so interesting. This week we warmed up to a whopping 40 degrees here and while I do live in Southern California we are up in the mountains and get a little experience of the four seasons.
Last week our Konos theme was our Introduction to Weather (you can read about our first week here) and this weeks theme is Temperature. We played with thermometers… a lot!
Day 1: We spent a lot of time talking and reading about thermometers. I found a great coloring page on Gabriel Fahrenheit and Anders Celsius in the All About Weather Dover Coloring Book, so the kids worked on coloring that while I read some more library books.
Day 2 Co-op: We had so much fun talking about temperatures and playing with thermometers . This activity is so fun and doesn’t require a lot of prep work so it makes it even better and I should add kept the boys especially interested.
I took several glass jars/cups and had the kids gather water in different forms and from different places. We filled one with snow, tap water (cold and hot), room temperature water, refrigerated water and boiled water. While we were boiling water I had them touch the water glass and try and put them in the order from coldest to hottest based on touch. Once the kettle whistled, I explained the three forms of water since we had a cup of snow, cup of water and steam from the kettle. I then poured the kettle into one of the jars where they said the hottest one should be.
Next was the fun part… they stuck the thermometer in each glass seeing if they where right in the increasing temperatures of the glasses. They marked down their readings and talked about their discoveries… like my cold tap water is 10 degrees warmer then the refrigerated water! The boys then wanted to see what would happened if they started combing the cold waters with the ice… hoping to make more ice, I am sure you can imagine as they quickly discovered even though it is cold it was not “freezing” and therefor melted the snow. But I let them keep playing with different theories and experimenting with the glasses.
We next had a ice race. I gave each of the children a ice cube on a plate and they needed to melt their cube as quickly as possible using only their body heat. As you might guess we had cold little hands and a lot of hot air in a race to get their cube melted. My niece came in a close first at just over two and half minutes.
One of the library books I found had some fun experiments on atmosphere and a plastic bag. This was a fun one to try and see the difference in temperature with one thermometer in the baggie and one next to it. Fifteen minutes later not only did we see the moisture but a difference in temperature as well, giving a great transition into talking about the greenhouse effect and our atmosphere.
Day 3: We watched the weather channel together and documented some of the weather that different parts of the country were experiencing. They also learned how to find our weather report by looking at the meteorologists geographical maps. Of course we read some more as well! In case you couldn’t tell books are a great resources to unit studies to keep the interest growing and exciting.
Looking to buy some thermometers for some science temperature fun? I got you covered! Check these out here