I have a secret I’ve been keeping. You already know my love for living books, unit studies, history, and hands-on activities. But you may not know that we’ve been using Beautiful Feet’s History of Science this year. Besides the excellent literature they cull through so that I don’t have to, we love the easy hands-on science activities.
These activities are geared for middle school, but a high school student that has a science aversion would be engaged too. While studying the ancient civilizations, grab these ideas for an Ancient Greece hands-on science unit study.
We have been learning how far ahead of their time the Greeks really were when it came to science. We loved reading about Archimedes. I had already studied about Archimedes with my first two sons before I had discovered Beautiful Feet literature. So I was really tickled that I have it for Tiny.
Even though it is written for a middle school level, a living book is written like a story and draws in a reader of any age.
To engage your kids, look at these questions to ask and have your kids write in their notebooks.
►Who was Archimedes?
►What elements did the Ancient Greeks believed that made up the universe?
►What do we know today about the elements that make up our universe?
►What is surface tension?
Ancient Greeks and their Perception of Matter
Next, grab these simple things that you probably have lying around your house because these activities are so quick and easy that you want to include all of your kids.
- tall glass bottle
- gauze pad
- rubber band
- bowl or glass with water
- steel paper clip
- dishwashing liquid
- food dye
- a couple of droppers
- milk at room temperature
- shallow pan
Then move on to each activity.
ONE/ Understand what is surface tension. Then do this simple activity.
Place a steel paper clip in a glass or bowl. (Yes, I can do that.)
Why does it float? Which is more dense, the water or paper clip?
How to Teach Hands-on Science Through Living Books
TWO/ Why is the gauze leakproof?
Fill a glass bottle with water. We added food coloring so it could be easier to be seen if it spilled.
Add the gauze over the top and secure with a rubber band. Turn it upside and see what happens.
Why won’t water pour out through a gauze enclosed top? It is held inside by the surface tension of the water.
THREE/ How to break surface tension? Understand that certain substances can break down surface tension.
This next one is a great activity to include the little ones because it has an instant ewwww and awwww moment. Grab a shallow glass pan.
Add room temperature milk.
Choose two food color dyes, get two eye droppers and some dishwashing liquid in a small container.
Then use one dropper to add two food coloring choices. You notice it stays in a circle or really doesn’t break the surface.
Then use the second dropper to add dishwashing liquid and you get immediate action. The colors start to swirl and move.
The colors spread around because the stronger surface tension around the edge of the dish pulls the milk and food coloring outward.
Try a few different colors. It really is an engaging activity. You’ll want to try it again and again.
These easy hands-on activities are a simple way to look at how scientist of the past looked at ancient discovery. Also, we have done plenty of lapbooks on Greece and we’ve added some too from Home School in the Woods that we love.
We have a few more things we have been doing with our History of Science and I can’t wait to show you more.
I’m doing an Ancient Civilizations hands-on history series and you’ll want to look at these other ideas:
And look at these other ways we’ve used Beautiful Feet literature.
Hugs and love ya,