Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Lesson - If It Floats Your Boat, It'll Probably Float Theirs: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Lesson - If It Floats Your Boat, It'll Probably Float Theirs: News

Article excerpt

One of my favourite lessons looks at why boats float. Being located near the historic port of Portsmouth, my class - aged 9-10 - has a real interest in and experience of this subject. The lesson is also a practical one that they very much enjoy, with a good mix of child-led and teacher- led tasks.

I start by giving the children a range of objects and a large tub of water. They have 10 minutes to discover which items float and which sink. As each object is pitched into the water, I ask the students to explain the reasons behind its fate. They tend to offer a range of interesting explanations, before I get them to test their theories with similar objects.

This provides the basis for the next stage of the lesson. We discuss the common features of the floating objects in the experiment. After a conclusion is reached - and the children have always worked out that air is a key component - we move on to testing a big ball and a small ball in the water. …

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