Sink or float activities are one of the earliest science lessons most children have. They are simple, easily resourced and teach important concepts related to science principles, questioning and generates a play-based learning environment. Here, we have used the sink and float experiment to practice the scientific inquiry process.
What do I need for this activity?
You will need the following items
- A container of water. As always, adult supervision is required around a body of water.
- Objects to test whether they will sink or float. These can be anything. We went for a hunt around the garden to get some nature items.
- Coloured pencils for completing the recording sheets.
- (Optional): Coloured dot stickers for your data recording.
- My FREE sink or float activity pack. This can be accessed using my free resource library. This library is exclusive to my subscribers. Sign up using the form below to gain access. This pack contains the following items:
- Sink or float recording sheet
- Sink or float graph
How to do the activity
- Fill a container with water.
- Take an object and predict whether it will sink in the water or float on the top.
- Place the object in the water and observe the outcome.
- Record the outcome for that object in the recording sheet. You will do this by placing a sticker in the yes or no column on the sheet. Alternatively, you can draw the object or just make a mark in the correct side.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for each object until they are all complete.
- Count the total number of stickers/marks you have made in your yes column and record that number below on the sheet.
- Count the total number of stickers/marks you have made in your no column and record that number below on the sheet.
- Graph your results using the sheet provided in the activity pack. You will use the total number of objects just determined on your data sheet.
What does this activity teach?
This activity provides kids with the opportunity for several learning outcomes including:
- learning the steps involved in the scientific process. The actual activity and science behind it is relatively simple so this allows more focus on the method involved.
- providing the opportunity to collect data and then go through the process of analysing it (in this case tallying the objects).
- it is an good way to practice visualising data with the introduction of graphing results.
- it is an activity that can be done with any resources making it widely accessible.
If you are an educator and/or teacher there will be a resource coming that has more options for recording and using the data. This will be linked on my tpt store when available.
I hope you enjoy doing your sink or float experiment. It’s a great way to practice the scientific process. How many items did you have that sunk?