Do You Sink or Float?

Jackie Baker Crown Community Academy
2128 South St. Louis
Chicago IL 60623
(312) 534-1680


Students in first grade will discover objects that sink or float through
observation, classification, gathering data, and interpreting data.

Materials Needed:

A variety of different objects A variety of different types of balls
clay 5 large clear containers for water
aluminum towels
pennies water
A variety of different fruit


Opening Activity:
Place a variety of objects into a clear tank filled with water. Ask the
children what they observe after each object is placed in the water. Discuss
the words sink and float. Have each child take one object, predict if it will
sink or float and place it into the water. Ask the children why did some of
these objects sink and some float? After the discussion, the students will
break up into five groups to explore the concept of sink or float at learning


1. Students will play the game "Sinker or Floater" to acquire a better sense of
which materials sink or float. Each child takes a turn by reaching into a bag
of objects and stating if that object will sink or float. Next, the student
places the object in the water and if their prediction was correct they get a
point. The students continue the game until all the objects have been selected.

2. Students will discover which fruits float by placing a variety of fruit into
a deep container of water. Next, they will draw pictures, on a given piece of
paper, illustrating their findings on which fruit floats or sinks.

3. Students will make a boat using clay. Next, they will predict, on a class
graph, how many pennies their boat will hold without sinking. Third, they will
put their boat in the water container and place pennies inside the boat.
Fourth, they will put their actual number of pennies the boat held without
sinking. Last, the students will put their name on their boat and place it
aside for a group comparison.

4. Students will repeat the exact steps for station 3 using aluminum foil
rather than clay.

5. Students will experiment with a variety of balls (golf ball, tennis ball,
football, soccer ball, etc.) to see if they sink or float. First, they will
predict by making a real graph, using the actual balls, showing which balls will
sink and which will float. Second, they will test each ball in the water
container. Last, they will make their own graph, using crayons and paper, to
illustrate what they have discovered.

Performance Assessment:

After the students have completed all stations, discuss observations made at
each. The students will be assessed on their participation in the group
discussion and their work created at each learning station.


AIMS Spring Into Math and Science K-1

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