NGSS says start with a phenomenon to hook kids, get them interested and get them thinking and asking questions. After having to ask kids every day to stop flipping their bottles in class so we wouldn’t have to hear that obnoxious bottle falling sound, I started one class by showing the following video:
The question is, will the bottle land upright? In all three of my 6th grade classes the results were mixed, almost half thought it would land and half thought that it wouldn’t. After a bit of discussion I showed them the full video:
So I then asked what can they do to make it easier to land the bottle upright more often?
I showed students how to use Inquiry Boards to choose what to investigate and to design their labs.
Using the first inquiry board, Brainstorm, students came up with ideas such as filling the water bottle with different amounts of water, trying different bottles – such as different sized bottoms, different sized bottle caps, different volumes – and different flipping techniques – such as flipping from different heights, landing on different surfaces, and using different wrist flicking techniques.
Teams chose which variables they were going to investigate then they wrote their problem questions and hypotheses. Then they wrote the procedures they would follow to conduct their experiments. I always let them write the procedure first, so they have a plan, and adjust it later. I read all procedures and if they make sense I approve them to get their materials and collect data. Here’s what it looked like:
The pictures are showing up sideways when I preview this blog. If you click on each image it should open the photo on a new page oriented correctly. I don’t know why this happens, it drives me nuts.
I’ll get some sample lab write-ups to share with their data and conclusions. Having multiple teams flipping bottles was loud and hectic but was all good in the name of SCIENCE! :)