Classrom experiences with “Water”

Al Qamar Academy have a wonderful experience with learning about Water to share with us.  The observations and the questions the kids present are amazing, all the more encouraged by the novel ways in which the lessons were imparted.

A report from the teacher

The kids did the first activity where they had to use scales and try to get a drop of water to go up or down etc. Here are some observations/ responses from them.

  1. Water can go up – if you blow on it. One kid also said water goes up when it evaporates. Another kid said that water travels up when you suck a straw.
  2. Water didn’t go down straight – it zig zagged.
  3. Some drops of water stayed where they are even when the scale was tilted downwards.
  4. They observed that if there was a stationary drop of water on the scale, they could make it go down by adding another drop of water above it which would make this one roll down.
  5. One kid asked “if air is pushing the same way in all directions, why does the water go down?” They thought about it and eventually said it was because of gravity. We then had a discussion on gravity. They asked if gravity was a magnet. Very amused to know that even they are busy pulling the earth to themselves however negligibly. Ofcourse, minds wandered off into what would happen if there was no gravity.
  6. They could make water change directions if they tilted the scale or blew on it.

I showed them a glass full of water with the “bubble on top”. Also showed them how a coin, if you keep adding water drop by drop it forms a dome. They quite loved that.

Then I took some sketch pens, made colour dots on a tissue paper and dipped one end in a little pool of water. They saw how the colours travelled up. They tried it themselves also and loved the activity. (I think any mucking around with water is always fun.)

I showed them how when you put a coin into a glass of water, some water pours out. They loved the story about how Archimedes ran naked shouting Eureka!

Having fun together, making a water wheel!

Very recently we made a water wheel. Since we had only one juice tetrapack, it was a collaborative effort. One kid read out the instructions, another one stuck the paper, another cut the wheel etc. Finally we stuck a pencil in the wheel and held it under the tap. The wheel kept falling off. Then we went outside and poured water on the wheel using a glass. The paper also started unsticking. The wheel wasn’t too stable either. Finally Mudassir went back inside and held the water wheel in a way that the water fell on the folded part. The wheel turned beautifully now! Whirled away!


Predicting what would float and what would sink – and some surprises!

Today we did the section on floating and sinking. I wrote the items required on the board and the children fetched them – an eraser, a leaf, a block of wood, a bit of wool, cotton wool, plasticine, a nail, a plastic pen cap, a glue stick cap, a bit of rice, a stone, a bit of bread. We had a tray of water. They guessed if an item would float, submerge or sink before we put it in. The responses were mixed. They were surprised that the cooked rice sank so fast but wood floated. We also tried oil, honey and nail polish in water. Then we brought out our Jodogyan density kit which has same sized blocks made of different materials – wood, plastic, slate, iron, aluminium etc. They all held each item and got a sense of it – would it float or sink. They made predictions before we put each item in. The metal blocks all sank as predicted. One block of wood was less submerged than the other, which was interesting to them. They got the sense that same sized items all behaved differently. We then got a bottle of soda and chucked raisins into it. The predicted the raisins would sink. They were astonished when some of the raisins came floating back up. The lesson ended with the soda being divided amongst the kids for a nice raisin flavoured drink!


Aneesa Jamal
Al Qamar Academy

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