Simple Science Ideas

Hello Monday!  I spent a little time this week thinking about my plans and ideas for the coming year.  I LOVE integrating science into my day in any way I can.  I'm the one who has dead bugs, a giant wasps's nest and a preserved baby shark (yes, you read that right!) in their room.  I'm the one who takes the kids into the hallway so they can see the huge praying mantis on the window... the one who adds some science fun to Halloween (check this out!)... I'm the one who volunteers to team up to teach science/social studies to all the second grade classes - I'll do the science!

And with the NGSS being implemented in my building (and ME being the one who is responsible for teaching my students those science concepts!), I'm looking for as many ways as possible to integrate science into my day.  I have planned in to my year when I'll do full science units, and I will add science to my writing time, as well.  But I always like to throw some science in to anything I can.

So today I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.

We always start the year with an introduction to being a scientist.  We talk about what a scientist does, the tools they use, etc. and we do some easy center activities to practice careful observations - the heart of being a scientist.  The favorite center, without a doubt, is the one with the wave bottles.

Here's a finished bottle.
wave bottle

You've probably seen them before, they're nothing new.  But they ARE fascinating to second graders.  Here's a quick how-to.

You need a clear plastic bottle - any size is fine.  I use a 2 liter bottle.  A bottle of baby oil (you can use any oil as long as it is clear) and blue food coloring.
wave bottle

Fill the bottle halfway with water and add food coloring.  Shake it so the food coloring dissolves all the way.  Then, fill the bottle the rest of the way with the baby oil.  
wave bottle

That's it!  The oil sits on top of the water so it makes "waves" when the bottle is moved.  Shake it and see what happens.  Roll it across the floor. (I wrap tape around the bottle cap to make sure it stays closed.)  

You can take this activity a step or to farther by trying different liquids - corn syrup, vegetable oil, etc.
Or, add some fizz!

I created a quick little freebie for you to use with your kiddos.  The cards are great for a center and you can use the recording sheet if you want.  Just click on the image to download the sheets.
free sheets to use with a wave bottle

If you're looking for more on being a scientist, check out my new "Being a Scientist" unit.  I use these activities at the start of every year to kick-off our adventures in science.
being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit

being a scientist unit
Click on the pictures above to hop over to my TpT store and find out more details.

My plan is to share more simple science ideas with you throughout the year.  Sometimes it's easier to plan a full unit than it is to sneak in small ideas.  Share your simple science ideas with me!
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  1. I enjoyed reading your post! I really want to start 'beefing up' science using NGSS and appreciate all you have shared!


  2. I have the water, the food color, two bottles and your great forms... just need the baby oil. Thanks for sharing. I am going to put this out the first week of school to ease the kids into Science :)


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