Sunday, May 9, 2010

M4 - May Week 1


 Penny Balance

Our first experiment just involved a wood ruler, a clothespin (eraser or anything that size would work) to balance it on, and 10 pennies.

First we balanced the ruler on the clothespin.  Then, I carefully put a penny on one side of the ruler.  It tipped!  I added a penny to the other side, and it was back in balance.

Mom showed me how you could tell if each side had the same number of pennies, because then the ruler would balance!

Except it got a bit complicated with when we got over 3 pennies.  If you didn't have the pennies at the same point on each side of the ruler, it would be off balance.  And if you moved where the ruler was positioned on the clothespin, it would be off balance.

We read Make it Balance by David Evans and Claudette Williams


Penny Properties

We did some serious investigative testing on pennies!  Mom showed me how to fill out a list of properties.

This is what I found out:
  • They are NOT magnetic.
  • They sink in water
  • They bounce a little bit if you drop them.  But not really high, like a ball would bounce.
  • They make a mark on paper if you "write" with them.  (Or maybe that's just dirt.)
  • They can be scratched with a knife.  (Or maybe that's just the dirt.)
  • Speaking of dirt, if you put them in vinegar, a lot of that dirt will come off.
  • They do not move if you blow on them.
Just in case you were wondering, pennies are made primarily from zinc, with a teeny tiny bit of copper plating on them.



Since we learned about the life cycle of flowers when we studied seeds, our main project was the flower color one this time - it shows how water travels up the stem of the flower into the petals.  To keep the flower from decaying.  For a little while.  (I know all about decay now...)

 First you take some white carnations, cut the stems off a little, and stick the flowers in food-colored water.  (I liked taking the leaves off first, just because I'm like that.  Then you wait.  And wait.  And whitewait.

Eventually, you'll start to see a teeny tiny bit of color in the petals.  Mom was expecting something a little more drastic.  Here's blue on the left and yellow on the right.  In case you can't tell.

We also looked through an Oregon Wildflowers book and Counting Wildflowers by Bruce McMillan, just checking out names and pictures of flowers and deciding which were prettiest.

And Me


Mom helped me pick out a clipart nose on her computer.  I helped cut it after it was printed out.  Then we glued it onto my big body tracing.  (The eyes are from when we studied eyes.)

We went on a hunt outside for things that smelled.  Then we came inside, and I put on a mask so I couldn't see.  Then Mom had me smell different things and try to guess what they were.

Some things I smelled were:  orange, peanut butter, lime, pine needles, mint leaves, curry powder, garlic clove, cinnamon powder, apple blossoms, charred wood from our bonfire.

I did pretty good at everything except the spices. 

We also read Smell by Mandy Suhr.


Ticia said...

I've heard that celery works even better than flowers for the color change experiment, but I haven't tried it yet.
I love how you do all of this with her each week as she's moving through so many things.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

We've had varying success with the carnations, too. There must be some technique for getting more color to the petals - I'm sure years ago we ended up with really colored flowers - but last time we tried it, our results were kind of sad.

Unknown said...

I always love watching the flowers change color experiment. I loved your penny balance even more!!

jo said...

Great Post! I found the flowers worked better with REALLY strong food colour in it and it works well with celery too!
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