Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: The Science Book of Water

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Introduction and Summary
The Science Book of Water
by Neil Ardley is a book of experiments that help students understand some of the different properties of water, such as buoyancy, density, displacement, surface tension, evaporation, etc.  Ardley starts the book explaining what water is and how it is essential to life.  The experiments can be easily done in the classroom or at home because most households will have the supplies needed. Also, most of the experiments can be done in four to six simple steps. One experiment called “Floating and Sinking” shows how objects, such as marbles and modeling clay, will sink to the bottom of a bucket. However, if the modeling clay is shaped in the form of a boat, it will float because of the water it displaces. There are twelve other experiments in this book.

Curriculum Connections:

The Science Book of Water would be an excellent book for students in grades 2-4.  The experiments are perfect for teachers to use in order to get students engaged by making predictions about what will happen in the experiment.  Since the experiments are simple in nature and number of steps, students will be able to see how properties of water work thus improve their skills of observation.  Prior to each experiment, I would explain the design of the experiment and have the class make predictions about what would happen.  Then I would perform the experiment, or have the class perform it.  Once the experiment is done, I would have the class explain what they observed.  (VA SOL 2.1a,g,l; 3.1b,g; 4.1a,e,l)

Additional Resource:

Water and plants.  This site has hydroponic experiments for children in the classroom.

Water Vocabulary.  This site lists elementary school terms for water.

Water Play? A Lesson a Day!  This site has 31 water experiments for children.  Just scroll down to “Water Play? a Lesson a Day!”

Water Videos.  This site has 7 video experiments involving water’s skin and surface tension.

Book: The Science Book of Water
Author: Neil Ardley
Photographer: Clive Streeter
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 29 pages
Grade Range: 2-4
ISBN: 0-15-200575-7