Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mummification Project

Back during the winter while learning about Ancient Egypt, we had a LOT of snow days. Great for naps, not so great for getting in everything that needs to be gotten in. Now that we're down to less than a week of school, I've been pulling out some of those fun things we had set aside and letting the kids review what we learned this year. 

One such project was creating mummies using strips of plaster and barbie dolls. We only had 3 dolls (that one of my lovelies was gracious enough to donate to the project) so I split the class into 3 groups. Each person was assigned a task.

First, they had to cut all of the hair off. (This was seriously the best part for one of my kiddos. As she was cutting I heard her giggle and whisper "I've ALWAYS wanted to do this!") 

The next step was to actually wrap the doll in the plaster strips. If you're curious, the plaster just kind of appeared on my desk one day a couple years ago with a note saying 'I thought you might could use this for something.' If I ever run out, or if you'd like to buy some, it basically looks like this. Mine came in a box, not a roll, and I had to trim the strips into smaller strips (about 1"x12") for the kids to work with. I gave them each a plastic bowl filled with water and strips and let them have at it.  (I didn't get any pictures of this due to me constantly checking to make sure they were doing it right!)

When completed, we left them in the window to dry.

You can see that some did better than others, but it was definitely a cool project all-around. If we had more time, I would love to use the clay leftover from our Pueblo necklaces (American Indians unit) to create sarcophaguses. That would be to die for!

Ice-Cream Float Experiment

At the end of the school year I love to do experiments with my kiddos since we're trapped in our classrooms for state-tests happening in the building and we're finished the main curriculum and ready for review. I created this Ice Cream Float Experiment to do that takes just a little prep but involves a lot of fun while we review Scientific Investigation. It also happened to be one of my students' birthday, so his mom volunteered to bring in the materials! #iheartnoprepexperiments 

Each student was given a small cup with a bit of vanilla ice cream scooped into each one, and we poured 3 beverages (coke, orange soda, and lemonade) to determine which creates the most foam. As it turns out, the coke and orange tied #blamecarbonation so next time I'll likely use coke, tea, and lemonade. 

After they finished filling out the chart (they had to record the data, of course!) they had a bonus question (does anyone else's kids LOVE the bonus box on worksheets?!?) where they solved a less-scientific question: which one tastes best! My students loved this activity and it was a perfect Friday afternoon something-to-do. 

You can download the experiment sheet for your own kiddos at my TpT site for free!