Storytime: Density (Or What Sink & Floats?)

Largest storytime so far! 15 children (though it’s possible there were more – I didn’t get an accurate count). It looks like the word is getting out!


sank the boatfloats in a moat

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen
What Floats in a Moat? by Lynne Berry

All of the activities we did were group-based.
1. Dancing Lentils – I didn’t have any raisins, so I used red lentils instead. Pour clear soda into a class, drop the lentils, and watch them float to the top once they’re encased in bubbles. We also tried this with macaroni noodles, though it was not as successful. The children loved watching the lentils suddenly pop up to the top of the soda.

2. 3-Layer Density Tower – When doing this again, I would dye the ingredients beforehand to make the layers more visible. Corn syrup goes in first, then water, then oil. We dropped various objects in to see if they would sink to the bottom or get stuck in one of the layers.

3a. Does It Float? (Part 1) – I put a tub of water on the ground so the children could experiment with floating and sinking objects. For the first part, I put a small, flatish, rectangular food storage container on the water. Each child put a penny in (we had to do several rounds of this) until the container sank. We ended up with around 40 pennies in the container.

3b. Does It Float? (Part 2) – The second part of this experiment had the children taking various objects, putting them in the water, and seeing if the object sank or float. Before they dropped it, they had to make a guess about what they thought would happen.

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