Harriet Yustein, RP Connor School, 3B
Science (Buoyancy) Third Grade
will be informally introduced to the concept of buoyancy by planning and
constructing their own floating containers. Students experiment with a
variety of materials and designs to investigate the variables that affect
the floatation of their boats. The skills emphasized in buoyancy are collecting
data, manipulating, observing and predicting.
content standard from MST (one or more of the seven):
understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories
pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and
recognize the historical development of ideas in science.
standards (what you want your students to know or be able to do)
Benchmark 2: Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve
interactions among components of air, water and land
standards (how you will know that they know--how good is good
relationships among air, water and land on Earth
Content standards or outcomes for your unit: Be sure to identify all the
constructs you will be assessing. They should help your students achieve
Students will explore the properties of classroom materials that
sink and float.
will understand that the shape of an object will affect its ability
and compare compacity of clay boats by amount of cargo it can
variables that affect buoyancy.
will observe that objects are more buoyant in heavier liquids.
Performance measures for your unit:
is able to construct a boat that floats indefinitely
is able to construct a boat that floats
constructs a boat that sinks within minutes
construct a boat that sinks instantly
accurately places 100% of weights in order for it to float
places 75% of weights in order for it to float
places 50% of weights in order for it to float
placement is totally inaccurate
can explain clearly and in detail how the boat floats
can generally explain how the boat floats
has some difficulty with his explanation of how the boat floats
can not give an explanation of how the boat floats
each day's activity separately or holistically plan for ten days of work.
Include all parameters of the setting including grouping, space, time
and props. Include some critical directions and questions for the classroom
dialogue or attach a worksheet of activity directions. (See Chapter 6)
Day One: Floating and Sinking Objects - students group objects
according to buoyancy and discuss attributes. Graph on chart paper or
overhead. Discuss in small groups why some floated and some did not. Then
have a whole group discussion.
two - Using balls of clay see if it floats and then try to make it
float. Determine the characteristics of the boat that floated. Draw picture
of what floated and what sank for them.
three - Have students predict the amount of uniform weights that will
fit in the boat they made. Use Excel to make a chart of the number of
weights the boat carried.
four - Give two pieces of aluminum foil and see if they can make it
sink and make it float.
capacity. Test predictions and record data.
five - Read Curious George Rides a Bike by Rey. Follow directions
to make a boat from newspaper. Test floating them. Hand out information
about a project for them to make a boat. It will be due in five days.
Have them name the boat, what type of boat it is. Ask for volunteers to
bring in a baby pool etc. to use to float the boats.
six - Test a variety of liquids - hot water, cold water, salty water,
soapy water, mineral oil etc. Put small medicine cups in the different
liquids and test the buoyancy with and without the weights. Compare this
with the previous data obtained by using regular water.
seven - Make a hydrometer using straw, clay and dirt. Test the density
of the water.
separate cups with oil, alcohol and water in each of the separate cups.
Combine them into one cup one at a time. Add food coloring to the cups.
This will help the children see the densities of the liquids.
eight - Make a cartesian diver showing how air helps something float.
nine - Use Encarta to research famous boats such as the Mayflower
and the Titanic.
science video on buoyancy.
10 - Test boats made for their project and fill them with weights
to see which boat holds more. Have the children explain the process that
they used in making this particular boat so that it floated. (see rubric)
trip - Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City