Sink or Float: an exploration with nature

Water is such a wonderful resource in the preschool classroom as it can be used for all types of play, exploration, and learning. One of our most recent water activities was to gather up some items from nature then answer the question “Does it sink or float?”

Sink or Float with Nature by Teach Preschool

The children started out by reviewing a short checklist of nature items I put together based on the kinds of items I knew were available around our school grounds…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

Then each child took their checklist outside to find and gather each of the items on their checklist…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

As the children found each item, they brought the items inside and set them by their name until they had every item on the list sitting on the table…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

Now we were ready to begin our exploration with sink or float. The children chose the first item on their list which was a piece of bark and made a guess as to whether the bark would sink or float. Once the guesses were all in, the children dropped their bark in the water to check their guesses and make any other observations they found interesting…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

The bark was then removed from the water and we repeated the process for each item on our check list which included sticks…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

Leaves…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

Rocks…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

And flowers…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

This bright group of students were able to guess quickly which nature items might sink or float but some of our items tricked us a bit since it had rained the night before. The bark was particularly tricky because although some of the pieces of bark floated, some of them sank depending on how wet they were. We also took a few minutes to watch our leaves float across the water by blowing on them…

Sink or Float: An exploration with nature by Teach Preschool

A terrific study on the concept of floating vs. sinking! ┬áIf you would like a copy of our checklist – just click here for the PDF!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Exploring what will sink or float in preschool by Teach Preschool

Balloons and Water by Teach Preschool

Sink or Float Bottle by Chasing Cheerios

F is for Float by Brilliant Beginnings

Comments

  1. says

    I really love the checklist idea. My just turned 4-year-old gets so distracted when completing tasks, and I think that an activity like this would be such a fun way to encourage follow-through. Not to mention the fact that the children are working on reading skills and writing as well as the process of exploring sinking and floating! Great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      Hi Sarah,
      My students love checklists. It helps them stay organized and gives them a simple goal to complete that they enjoy!

  2. says

    This looks like a wonderful activity! I love it! Is there any way you would share your checklist? Reinventing the wheel is SUCH a bummer!
    Thanks for another wonderful interactive idea!
    Heidi Butkus

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      Hi Heidi,
      I added a link at the end of the post to the checklist for you and others to use if you like. It may take a minute for the pdf to open so be patient:)

  3. Rocio says

    Congrants for your new book… Will you give us a little review or let your readers see the index of it?

    Againn congrats

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      Hi Rocio,
      I have a post prepared to go up tomorrow or the next day that give more details about my new book. Thanks for asking!