Kindergarten Science Circus

Kindergarten Science Circus
Topic: Sink or Float
April 14th, 2014
Virginia Standards of Learning :
K.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the
nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which:
a) basic characteristics or properties of objects are identified by direct observation
j) unusual or unexpected results in an activity are recognized
K.5 The student will investigate and understand that water flows and has properties that
can be observed and tested, including:
b) some materials float in water, while others sink.
Daily Question:
What makes objects sink or float?
Procedures in Learning Cycle
Engagement: Have the students sit
on the carpet, and show them three
shapes made out of clay or playdoh:
a ball, a cylinder, and a disc. Each
shape should be made using the
same amount of clay. Ask the
students what clay does in water. If
they need guidance in thinking
about sinking and floating, ask them
if it sinks or floats. Have them make
a tally chart of what their
predictions are.
Guiding Questions
What happens when you
put clay in water?
Materials Required
-Clay or playdoh
-Chart paper
predictions on chart
5 minutes
Procedures in Learning Cycle
Each of the 4 groups will go to a
station. With the help of an adult,
the students will read the
instructions and complete the
station’s activity. After 5 minutes,
students will go to the next station.
The instructors will use a timer to
signal when it is time to go to the
next activity. The stations are:
Guiding Questions
See Student Cards.
Materials Required
-Materials listed on
Teacher Cards
-Student’s participation
and behavior at each
25 minutes total:
-5 minutes at each
-5 minutes for
-What did you learn
about sinking and
-How does shape affect
what an object does in
-How does weight affect
floating and sinking?
-How does size affect
floating and sinking?
-Verbal recognition of
15 minutes
1: Which One Floats?
2: Does Silly Putty Float?
3: Sink or Float in Other Liquids
4: Density Tower
When all groups have gone to each
station, gather the class on the rug
to discuss what they discovered. Go
through each station and ask the
same questions from the
engagement and that were written
on the student cards. Introduce the
concept of density, and provide an
explanation for how it was involved
in each of the stations in the Circus.
1: Which One Floats?
-Explain how weight affects whether
an object will sink or float. Some
students may think that just because
-Drawings of activities
in provided booklets
an object is bigger, it will sink.
Discuss why the smaller object sank
instead of the larger one.
2: Does Silly Putty Float?
-Ask the students what shapes they
made with their silly putty, and
what happened to each shape.
Introduce the concept of surface
area and how it affects sinking and
3: Sink or Float in Other Liquids
-Ask the students what happened to
the egg in each of the containers.
Discuss how the type of liquid
affected whether or not the egg
floated, and how the density of the
liquid as well as the density of the
object determines what will happen.
4: Density Tower
-Ask the students what their
predictions were about which order
the liquids would settle into. Discuss
how each liquid’s density affected
where it settled, and ask them what
they could tell about the liquids
densities by their locations in the
After students have completed the
Circus and understand the concept
of density as related to sinking and
floating, have each student make a
boat out of a sheet of aluminum foil
and test it to see how many pennies
it will hold before sinking. Compare
the boats that hold the most and
discuss why some shapes worked
better than others.
-What shape of boat will
hold the most pennies?
-Why did that shape
work better than others?
-A sheet of aluminum
foil per student
-Tubs of water for
each table
-Understanding of
density as shown in
class discussion of the
foil boats.
15 minutes
Notes: Some students may require separate stations if not allowed to be video recorded. Towels should be laid out prior to activities to
prevent water spills. Students may be to young to fully grasp the concept of Density, but explaining it doesn’t have anything to do with weight
or size alone should be the focus of the circus. To help students with difficulty transitioning, have the groups line up and walk them between
stations. Separate students into groups before beginning the lesson.