One of my goals for the kids is to know how to make a theory and test their theory using the scientific method. In elementary school they’re probably not going to make some earth-shattering discoveries, but they can learn about things we as adults take for granted.
Here’s how we are using the scientific method right now. The full on version has you making revisions in your hypothesis as you obtain results, but for simplicity’s sake we didn’t do this. We also added the step of discussing with “colleagues,” or in other words your siblings.
This experiment came about from a post Phyllis over at All Things Beautiful shared a few years ago, a mystery series, in one of the evidence parts she referenced how to test for starch in foods. I filed that away in my brain as something to do when we reached anatomy, but this was pre-Pinterest, so I didn’t remember much beyond that it was possible. Fast forward to now, and we finally did this experiment as we reached the nutrition chapter in our textbook.
[I finally remembered what that small white bit was, a marshmallow, that’s been bugging me]
Tip 1 for teaching Scientific Method to kids, be patient
because kids are squirrely and will be distracted.
As we went through and formed the hypothesis I forgot a key feature, have the spelling ready for them to copy, which led to a bit of frustration, but just be PATIENT. I was kind of surprised by some of their predictions on what would happen.
Tip 2 for teaching Scientific method to kids, use lined paper
because I didn’t, and this caused problems later on for the kids as their results were all mixed up.
Tip 3 for teaching Scientific Method to kids, give very specific instructions
especially if your materials can stain or cause problems
Before the kids got to try it out, I gave some very specific instructions on how to do this because iodine stains, and I want them to learn caution:
- Stand up while doing this (for more control)
- Fill the dropper very carefully, and then tap it on the edge of the container so there are no drops
- carefully put 1-2 drops on the item you’re testing, and wait for results
[side note, can I just say I love Batman’s face as he’s looking at Superman writing down?]
Tip 4 for teaching Scientific Method to kids, wait sometimes results take time
When we first tested the granola we weren’t sure we saw results, but as the iodine was absorbed by the granola it turned the dark color that indicated presence of starches.
And when you’re all done take the time to talk about what happened and why (and maybe enjoy a few silly laughs).
And finally a few happy Mom pic’s that I liked.
*Glass eye droppers because plastic will stain, see my post on Hands on Science for more supplies you could get
Now head on over to Phyllis for Science Sunday this month, we’re switching linkies for January, and she’s done a great job hosting Science Sunday for me as I as a bit burned out.