MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Experiments with Air and the pressure air exerts

Experiments with Air and the pressure air exerts

Bonnie DePeel
Sunset Terrace Elementary School
Rochester, Minnesota
based on the book Let's Try it Out in the Air: Hands-on Early-Learning Science Activities by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux, illustrated by Doug Cushman
Author Profile

Summary

In this indoor or outdoor lab, students will listen to the book Let's Try it Out in the Air by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux. Students will try the experiments suggested in the book and will write in an observation journal in which they will record the results of their air experiments. They will share their completed journals by reading them aloud and telling about their pictures.

Learning Goals

Students will learn that air can exert pressure upward and reduce the impact of the force of gravity on an object. They will learn that the upward pressure that air exerts increases with the size of the surface area of an object and the movement of air beneath the object.
Students will listen and respond to a nonfiction book.
Students will participate in experiments with air and record their observations through drawing and writing.

Context for Use

This lesson is intended for a first grade classroom, including all students and making adaptations as necessary. This lesson, which can be presented in six shorter (10-15 minute) segments, will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. While the entire lesson can be presented indoors, it may also be done partially indoors and partially outdoors in shorter segments, during a week. Introduce, read and discuss the book and stop to try each experiment then take time to observe and record, and back into the classroom to finish, reflect, and share.

Skills needed:
-Ability to write capital and small.
-Observation drawing, coloring, and/or writing.
-Proper use and handling of materials necessary to do experiments.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Primary (K-2)

Description and Teaching Materials

In Advance:
- Scout out a nearby outdoor area where students can try air experiments.
- Gather the necessary materials (listed below).
- Check with the school nurse and note any medical concerns that may affect individual students.

Materials Needed:

-The book, Let's Try it Out in the Air: Hands-on Early-Learning Science Activities by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux, illustrated by Doug Cushman (read to the class).
-"Air" science observation journals, clipboards, pencils, and crayons.
-For whole class or for each small group of students:
-A small paper bag
-A rubber balloon
-A piece of string
-A shoe
-A bedsheet
-Several lightweight objects
-Colored paper

The Lesson:
1. Show the book, "Let's Try it Out in the Air: Hands-on Early-Learning Science Activities" by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux, illustrated by Doug Cushman. Read the title and ask students to predict what kinds of "hands-on" activities the book might suggest. Connect to prior knowledge.
2. Have students create a mini-book observation journal. On page 1 read and write the title, Let's Try it Out in the Air by ___________ (student's name). On the top of page 2 write, "Try #1,". Students will use this area to draw the results of the first experiment. On the top of page 3 write, "Try #2" Students will draw and/or write their observations of the second experiment. Do the same with pages 3-6, labeling the pages "Try#3", #4, etc... On the top of page 7 write, "I liked ________." or "I learned _______." or "I wonder______."
3. Read, Let's Try it Out in the Air: Hands-on Early-Learning Science Activities by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux, illustrated by Doug Cushman and stop at each point that says "Let's Try it Out" to try the experiments. There are six experiments in the book. After each experiment, stop to allow students to record their observations in their observation journals. (You can divide the lesson into six sections, one for each experiment).
4.If you would like to, go outside to the pre-chosen area with tools and observation journals to conduct the experiments and record observations on the "try" pages. Students may work with partners or in small groups. Complete the observation journals outdoors or in the classroom by completing writing, drawings, coloring, and proofreading.
5.Read the completed journal to a partner, to the teacher, and finally to the class using an appropriate speaking voice.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Assessment

Mini-book observation journals should contain writing/ drawings that indicates an understanding of the properties of air. They should contain appropriate colored illustrations. Students will share their work by reading the text aloud and explaining their illustrations.

Standards

Grade 1
Physical Science. 1.II. E. Forces of Nature. The student will understand that forces can act at a distance.
History and Nature of Science 1.B. Scientific Inquiry. The student will raise questions about the natural world, make careful observations, and seek answers.
Language Arts 1.II.A.2 Write to record observations.
Language Arts 1.III.A.6 Use appropriate voice level.

References and Resources

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