"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants."

Deuteronomy 32:2

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Sunday, April 28

Second Grade, Science, Set Three

Now we are learning about air.

We started out with The True Book of Science Experiments. We completed pages 6 - 22 over three days. This wasn't rushing, as the experiments are very simple. K. would read the text and then we would do it. Here are pictures of some of our experiments.

The glass is full of water. Air pushing against the paper keeps the water from running out.

Put your finger on the end of the straw to keep air from entering and pushing the water out.

Our siphon worked!!! Air pushing on the water in the bowl forces it into the tube to fill the bucket. After we emptied the bowl, we switched the bowl and bucket and emptied the bucket into the bowl.
Here is our weather vane.
I'm planning on doing a project from Projects with Air each week. This is our Land Yacht. We used the raft we made in history in Set Two because we didn't have balsa wood. We haven't had enough wind to see if it works.
We completed pages 4 - 13 in the book What Happens If? These were experiments with balloons. It is really hard to get pictures of balloons that are speeding around the room or through water in the bathtub, so we have no pictures of them. But they were a lot of fun to do!
We did two projects from Projects with Air. The first was a Balloon Powered Racer. We were supposed to use balsa wood to make it, but we didn't have any, so in order not to spend money, we used Tinker Toys. At first we had a regular size straw, but it didn't allow the air to escape fast enough to move the racer. I found an old lip balm tube. We disassembled it and sawed one end off. Then the racer worked, although if I blew the balloon up too big it would sit on the wheels and not allow them to roll. Here are some pictures.

Our second project was making a pinwheel. We took it outside and let it spin in the wind.
In Fun with Science we did pages 29 - 33, learning the effects of fast moving air. Then we made and flew a boomerang.
For our parachute experiments, we started with the book 365, page 29. When we had completed that, we switched over to Projects with Air. It had us cut holes in the parachute until it no longer floated down, but jut fell. When we stopped, the parachute was more holes than plastic, but it was still working.
Here are a couple videos of other experiments from 365. In The Talking Coin as the cold air in the bottle warms up and expands, it makes the the coin on top pop up a bit as it lets the air out. With Launch Your Astronauts, the air from the blow dryer pushes the ping pong ball up as gravity pulls it down. Because the air from the dryer is flowing faster than the air around it (lowering the air pressure), the ball stays above the dryer.
The Talking Coin
Launch Your Astronauts
From Projects with Air we did an experiment, tacking wrapping paper, lined paper, cloth, and yarn to pencils. Then we put them out in the wind to see which blew best.
We completed more experiments from 365 this week.
  • The Collapsing Bottle -- use very hot water to get the air inside a 1 or 2-liter bottle hot. Then screw the cap on tightly and put it in the freezer. The bottle will collapse because hot air takes up more space than cold air.
  • The Wonderful Whistle-Stick -- put a hole in one end of a paint stirrer and tie string or yarn to it. Then in the other end put one, two, or three holes. Swing the stick around fast and listen to it whistle. You can try having different sticks with different numbers of holes and listen to the different sounds. The air passes through the holes at a higher speed than the air going around the stick, which causes the whistling sound.
  • The Collapsing Tent -- take a small sheet of paper and fold it once, creasing it like a tent. Blow a steady stream of air through the tent. The tent collapses because the air pressure above the tent is greater than the pressure of the moving air through the tent.
  • The Singing Balloon -- blow up a balloon, stretch the neck while you let the air escape to hear it sing. The air exiting the balloon causes the balloon to vibrate, which causes the sound.
  • The Rising Notebook Trick -- put a balloon under a book, blow up the balloon. The air pressure in the balloon causes the book to rise.
  • Real String Soap in a Bottle -- take an old dish soap bottle, or other soft bottle with a small hole in the lid. We used a shampoo bottle. Remove the lid and put the string (we actually used a piece of round elastic) through the whole. Tie a knot in each end of the string that is large enough so it won't go through the hole. Put the lid back on the bottle. Put the string into the bottle. Quickly squeeze the bottle and the string flies out. The air pressure leaving the bottle pushes the knot that is covering the hole and makes the string fly out.
This week we did more reading than experiments. The following experiments are from 365.
  • Oddballs -- blow up two balloons to about the size of large oranges. Tie each to the end of a string, about 1 yard long. Arrange the string over a fixture so the balloons hang evenly and about two inches apart. Blow a rapid stream of air between the balloons. The balloons move toward each other. This is because moving air has lower air pressure than stationary air, so the higher air pressure on the outside of each balloon pushed them together.
  • High Rollers: A Big Wind! -- put two cardboard toilet paper rolls about an inch apart. use a straw to blow a steady stream of air between them. The rolls move together. Same reason as Oddballs.
  • Spinning Wheel: It's Wheel Science at Work! -- this one has a lot of instructions, so here is the video.

Books we read:
  • The Boxcar Children: The Mystery of the Hot Air Balloon #47 -- fun story, and it does teach about hot air balloons.
  • Air: Outside, Inside, and All Around by Darlene Stille -- easy reading picture book that teaches what air is made of
  • The Air Around Us by Eleonore Schmid -- picture book that teaches about wind
  • Spy in the Sky by Kathleen Karr -- a historical fiction chapter book about the Balloon Corps during the Civil War
  • Sally's Great Balloon Adventure by Stephen Huneck -- picture book, fun story about a dog that accidentally goes up in a hot air balloon
  • The Balloon Boy of San Francisco by Dorothy Kupcha Leland -- historical fiction story that takes place in 1853. This is also a good book if you are studying California history.
  • Catch the Wind! All About Kites by Gail Gibbons -- at the end of the book it tells how to make your own kite.
  • Wind Power by Norman F. Smith -- we just read through page 29. It was getting too detailed for second grade interest level. However, it had a demonstration for us to do that really helped K. understand that cold air sinks. Open your refrigerator a couple inches. Where do you feel the cold air coming out? It is at the bottom on your feet, not at the top on your face.
  • Air is Everywhere by Melissa Stewart -- if you wanted to do just a one week unit on air, this is the book. It has large colorful pictures, large print (not too much on each page), and fun, simple activities.
  • The Amazing Air Balloon by Jean Van Leeuwen -- picture book of historical flight in 1784
  • The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen -- picture book of Louis Bleriot's flight across the English Channel.

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