Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Matter" Experiments

Ella and I have been using a library book called "Change It!  Solids, liquids, gases and you" (Adrienne Mason), to learn about matter.

Another parent's review of the book:

I recently found a series of books about Primary Physical Science. Change It! Solids, liquids, gases and you was one of the books in this series that my son and I read together. It is a great book for early elementary school children.

We first learn what matter is and how it has different states, solid, liquid, and gas. The author Adrienne Mason tells us how matter can change shapes, like when you play with play dough. There is a recipe for play dough so you can do it yourself.  We see how different containers can hold the same amount of liquid but look like the amount is different.

There is the opportunity to follow instructions to make a balloon fill up without blowing it up by using baking soda and vinegar. And we learn how water is one of the easiest things to realize it has different states. Mason shows us simple ways to see how matter can change when you mix it, like when you bake a cake. And my son's favorite part of this book was when we turned liquid (milk, sugar, and vanilla) into a solid (ice cream).

This book is so hands on and describes things in a way that children will understand. Plus there are tips at the back of the book for parents and teachers to further help children understand the concepts taught in the book. I really felt it was completely geared toward children in a fun, but educational way.

The illustrations will also help keep kids' attention. They are done by Claudia Davila and are done in Photoshop. They mostly show children, but do show adults where appropriate, like the play dough says to have an adult pour in hot water and there is an adult doing that as the illustration. The kids in the illustrations are diverse, with boys and girls with a variety of natural hair colors and skin tones. There are also illustrations of animals doing things that they wouldn't normally do (like a tiger eating ice cream) with tips in word bubbles from them about things like that if you don't eat ice cream fast it will melt into a liquid.

Overall we have really enjoyed this series and liked this book too. The balloon experiment and making ice cream were a lot of fun for my son who thought this book was very cool. Plus he learned some stuff about science and you can't go wrong with that. I definitely recommend this book.

Some of the experiments we worked on:

Combination of liquids and solids to make a liquid.  We heated it and it became a solid.

Ice Cream
Freeze liquid combination to become solid.

We plan to do a few more along these lines yet before mid-June:

games Ella's played to help understand the unit:

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