We are learning about the states of matter- solids, liquids, gases...oh my! We did such a simple experiment that shows students how air has mass. It is so hard for students to understand that air has weight, or mass!
Do you need a simple way to show your students that air has mass?
Here is what you will need:
- a large glass bowl, filled up about 3/4 with water
- a plastic or glass cup (I used plastic so that my students could do this with a partner and then I would not have to panic about glass breaking!)
- a napkin or paper towel
- curious and interested students who have formed a hypothesis about what will happen to the napkin when the cup is placed in the water :)
Place a napkin/paper towel inside a glass or plastic cup. You might want to tape the nakin so that it stays put! Fill a large bowl with water. Place the cup inside the bowl, straight down. If it is sideways, water will go inside the cup!
Push the cup down touch the bottom of the bowl.
You can't see from here, but the paper towel/napkin is dry!
This student does not believe it! She pulled the cup out of the water and felt the napkin.
It is completely dry!
Lesson learned: an "empty" cup is really not empty!
Check out this site for more detailed directions:Not learning about matter? Snag this copy of the PHMPRC chart that we used for your next experiment.
We filled out the PHMPRC as we completed this experiment. Click here to download the file for free PHMPRC on google documents.
**Thanks Kelly (my third grade coworker who is currently on maternity leave and I am missing very much!) for sharing this lesson (and the bowl!) with me!**
Want another easy experiment that shows air has mass? All you need is a yardstick, two balloons, string...and the link to this website so you can follow the step by step directions:
****Update as of 1/20/13***
If you looking for some interactive lessons and creative ideas to use for your state of matter unit, you may be interested in our Solids, Liquids, Gases...Oh My! unit on TpT.
The 60 + page unit includes:*2 experiments with pictures/directions (the experiment in this post is also included)
* A fun flip book to record learning about the states of matter:
* A interactive lesson that teaches students how the atoms move in the three states of matter:
* A states of matter hands-on project for the students to complete either as homework or in class. Includes a rubric, a note to go home, and pictures of a completed project:
* Mystery matter interactive lesson:
* Over 30 pictures for the students to sort into a solid, liquid, or gas state of matter (w/ recording sheet and answer key)
* Show and tell---with a twist of science activity:
* Lots of colorful bulletin board posters for you to print up and show off student work!
Have a great night!