Today I'd like to share how to make your science time more exciting and engaging for your students…..by going through their tummies! If you haven't tried making your science edible, then read on!
Why Edible Science?
I love doing science experiments because science is all about exploring and discovering. But even with all the experiments and demonstrations my students did, I still wanted to take things up a notch. They still weren't grasping some of the concepts. Maybe the concepts were complex, or maybe they were just a little boring (like rocks and minerals). I began thinking about what I could add to science time to help them remember those concepts that seemed to be escaping them, or to make them more interested in learning about those boring concepts.
Every holiday I would create math, literacy, and science centers for my students to do that were related to that particular holiday. I quickly learned that their favorite centers involved food. What kid doesn't love food? So I decided to bring food into our science time. You will have to pay attention to food allergies, so make sure your parents know what foods you will be using and their kids will be eating beforehand. I had a great group of parents, so I could rely on them to send in donations of the supplies we needed. I hoped that if students were creating demonstrations or doing experiments with food they could actually eat afterwards, they might be able to make those connections with the harder to grasp (or boring) concepts.
An Edible Science Lesson: Layers of Soil & Rock
Some of the ideas I created on my own, others I found on the web. You can actually find a lot of resources on the web for edible science. I am going to share one that I found on the web that worked very well for my students when we were learning about soil and rocks. Soil. Rocks. Two of the most fascinating science concepts out there, right?
My students needed to learn about the layers of soil and rock in the Earth. Coloring and drawing the layers did zilch. Having my students create a model using different colors of play dough did nada. They still couldn't remember the layers, and if they were able to remember the layers, they weren't really able to describe how the layers were similar and different from one another. So I decided to have my students make a model of the layers of soil and rock within the Earth using different food items. I also had them sketch a diagram of it in their interactive science notebooks as a visual reminder of the activity. I had them label the diagram with the name of the layer and what food item we used. I hoped if they could connect the food to the layer, they would remember it. And they did! Tie in their taste buds, and it's amazing what they will remember!
Here is what you will need for each child. Of course, you can use any food item you want, though!
1 large clear plastic cup
a few Oreos
1 butterscotch pudding pack
1 chocolate pudding pack
shredded coconut colored green
a couple of gummy worms
1. Place 1 Oreo in the bottom of the cup. This represents the bedrock. (The Oreos also represent parent material because this is broken down bedrock and rock outcrops because rock outcrops are exposed bedrock.)
2. Crumble an Oreo and sprinkle it on top of the whole Oreo. This represents the parent material.
3. Spoon some of the butterscotch pudding on top of the bedrock. This represents the subsoil.
4. Spoon some of the chocolate pudding on top of the subsoil. This represents the topsoil. Topsoil is richer in organic matter than subsoil, so it is darker in color.
5. Place a gummy worm or two in the topsoil. Worms live in the topsoil and further break down rock and enrich the topsoil.
6. Place an Oreo sideways into the topsoil so that it sticks out to represent a rock outcrop.
7. Sprinkle the green shredded coconut on top to represent grass.
8. Sketch and label the diagram.
9. Eat up!
Disclaimer: This is not a photo of an example I created. I clean out my photos every summer, and since I am not teaching this year, I don't have any new photos of this lesson (sad face). But I did find this one on a web search so you can see how it could look when you are done, depending on which food items you use for the layers :) I give credit where credit is due, and I found the photo below here.
Do you use edible science in your classroom? I would love to hear about your favorite lesson!
Get Ready to Blog Hop!
If you are looking for more great ideas, please visit the next blog on this blog hop written by Danielle from Crayonbox Learning! She shares some great tips on how to create science centers using awesome finds from the Dollar Store. Alternatively, you may visit the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you.
Until next time!
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