T is for Temperature
I love teaching /t/ /t/ temperature because there are so many fun hands-on activities for the kiddos! And many of them are so easy with very few materials neeed!
Start out your lesson with differentiating between hot and cold. This will help the littles connect their current knowledge to new learning! Give them a bowl of cold water and a bowl of hot (obviously not hot enough to burn them) water and let them feel the difference. Explain that the two bowls have different TEMPERATURES. If you happen to have a thermometer, now is a great time to use it and show them how the 'red line' moves up when it's hot and down when it's cold! I like to mix some of the hot with some of the cold so that they can feel a warm temperature. Then I leave the bowls to sit out - go back to them at the end of the day and observe how they have all become the same temperature. If you have older kids, they can record the temperatures at set intervals (eg. every hour) through the day. A further extension would be to graph the results!
I like to have the littles make their own thermometer at this point. I don't focus too much on the numbers (unless they are curious) other than showing them where room temperature would be so that they can move it higher or lower depending on what temperature they are practicing. Click the link to make the one I use, but if you don't have a red pipe cleaner, just google it as there are lots of other options out there!
Once it's ready you can have them practice moving it. Practice moving it up for hot and down for cold. I like to hold a flashlight and a snowflake cut from paper to make it fun; Shine the light and say "hot", the snowflake and say "cold" and then once they get it try to trick them a bit!
After they've mastered up with hot and down with cold, ask them to show you what would happen if:
It's a great time to talk to the kiddos about safety with regards to temperature, inducing stoves, fireplaces, cookies removed from the oven, hot water taps, kettle, etc. If you are ambitious bake cookies now!!! Show them how you set the temperature on the oven.
If you want to do some seat work, (while the cookies are baking) I like having them apply their learning with this worksheet from Education.com
Next up, I love having the kiddos make their own thermometer. They get a real kick out of watching the liquid move up the straw as they warm the liquid with their hands!! Here is a tutorial if you are interested:
Now I would have them connect sunlight with warmth, and experiment with how sunlight warms materials differently. Collect a variety of materials, such as water, rocks, soil, or whatever you have on hand. Put them in the sun and after several hours have kids feel them to note the differences in temperature. Which material feels the warmest? Which feels the coolest? Note that if you are putting them outside be sure they are sheltered or weighted so that the wind won't blow them over.
It's also interesting to see how different colours absorb heat. Set out a few colours of paper being sure to include black and white paper. I like to add some tinfoil too! Set an ice cube on each and set in the sun. Observe which melts fastest. You will likely need to weigh your papers down with rocks (or anything). I like to leave the papers in the sun even after the ice has melted so the kiddos can see which dries out the fastest. Where did the water go??? Did it disappear? Nope...it evaporated!! Hmmm...it went from a solid to a liquid to a gas!!! Interesting!!!!
For older kiddos you can help them understand hot and cold at the molecular level! Fill 2 tall glasses with water - one hot (not boiling though) and one cold. Add 2 drops of blue food colour to the cold one and 2 drops of red to the hot. (you can use any colours if you don't have these, it's just nice to follow the colours typically associated with hot and cold). As the kiddos why they think the red one spreads out (diffuses) faster. Help them understand that hot water molecules have more energy and move faster! If you don't have the supplies, you can watch a video of the experiment in action!
Another super fun one I like to try demonstrates how hot air/water rises and cool air/water sinks and introduces older kiddos to convection currents!
There is a LOT of awesome Science you can insert here for the older kiddos too but understanding that heat is actually NOT something an object can possess (eg. the hot water doesn't have 'heat') is important. Heat is the flow of energy from one object to another caused by a temperature difference. If you put energy into a system it will heat up, if you take energy away, it will cool. If you have an ice cube in a cup of warm water the energy will flow from the warm water to the ice cube, eventually melting it, until the whole cup has the same energy as the environment around it!
Heat transfer is the logical next step in learning for older kiddos, and also super fun to do! Here are some ideas for those that are interested:
I like to finish off the temperature lesson by beginning daily temperature tracking. Place a thermometer outside (in a safe location) or use an outdoor thermometer. There are lots of options out there for recording your observations depending on the skill level. I like to use this one (click the pic for the freebie from 2ndgradeworksheets.net) so the kids can see the changes over the month, however I do the actual recording of the temperature after we check our outdoor thermometer together.
Another option would be to help the kiddos record the temp each day on individual thermometers.like this one from Homeschoolcreations.net (click the pic)
You may use all of this, or not even get past the first activity. Be fluid and go with the flow of their interests and inquiries! Most of all, have fun!! And stay healthy!
Laura from Evergreen
I've started this page during the COVID break to help the kiddos continue learning at home. Most activities can be done with kids of all ages if parents vary the level of content, participation and discussion appropriate to each child! (differentiated instruction). Before the break we were at letter S. Visit our facebook page for letter A-R activities at https://www.facebook.com/evergreenacademy.ca/