Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Using Discovery Bottles

Have you made use of discovery bottles in your classroom?  Consider doing so if you want to add some simple manipulatives for centers or a science station.  Earlier, I posted about how teachers use empty water bottles for activities, and discovery bottles accomplish the same thing by adding different types of materials for students to shake around and observe.  They can do work with these at their desks or in small groups.  Just add a printable to the center where they can record what they see, and you can turn plastic bottles into a world of discovery for your students.

Some examples found on TurnstallTimes' post:

  • "Word bottles" are filled with pasta, sand or other materials, with words hidden inside.  Students shake the bottle around and read/record the sight words that are revealed.  She even included a sheet for students to record the words they find!
  • The "magnetic" bottle is full of tiny metal objects along with tons of confetti.  Students move a magnet along the outside of the bottle and watch the metal objects react.
  • The "ocean bottle" makes waves when the oil, water, and blue food coloring inside are shaken.

Familylicious also has several nice discovery bottle examples posted, like:

  • Vegetable oil mixed with powdered color and water mixed with food coloring can be shaken up to  create secondary colors, and then separate into two different colors when left still.
  • "Density bottles" are filled with different types of liquid, such as water in one and clear shampoo in another.  A marble is placed inside each and students shake the bottles to see how the marbles move differently.  This would be a great way to introduce the concept of density to the whole class.
  • A 'hidden objects" bottle is one of my favorites.  This would be great as a free-time activity!  Fill a bottle with material, such as sand or tissue paper.  Add 5-10 small objects and shake it so that they are hidden.  Include a sheet with pictures of the small objects so students can know what each item looks like, then challenge them to find them all.  

What other concepts can you showcase inside a discovery bottle?

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