Science was the last subject area I taught during our day in the classroom. After a morning of literacy, lunch, recess and math, it was finally time to teach some science lesson plans. Honestly, I was usually exhausted by the time science rolled around.
Overwhelmed with Science
Setting out a ton of materials and making sure I knew the procedures for a complex experiment was not something I wanted to do…like ever! The last thing I wanted to do was go on a late night run to the store. Or even worse, sending a kid down the hall to grab a material from another teacher.
Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching science and love watching my students explore and investigate during our science lessons. However, I had to find something that worked for me.
And simplifying my science activities was the answer.
Simple Science Experiments
Simple science experiments are my favorite to use and by far a hit with my learners because…a happy teacher makes for a fun experiment. Am I right???
I have a few experiments that are on the top of my science list because they are easy to plan, prep and teach with little learners. One of the simplest experiments that my learners enjoyed so much was showing how clouds make rain.
Time for Prep
Some of the strangest things are usually staples in a kindergarten classroom. A jar or clear cups, shaving cream and food coloring might seem like random materials to have in a classroom, but alas, they are the norm. The fact that I could grab these materials from my own room without a late night trip to Walmart is always a bonus.
Not only is the prep easy, but the experiment is simple enough for little ones to join in. First, we walked through the experiment together in a group. This way, I was able to engage my learners with questions before, during and after the experiment.
After we did the experiment together, my little scientists learned how rain falls down from clouds. Then, I let them get some practice. After writing the procedure in their science notebooks they were able to break up into groups and practice on their own.
Hands On Science
I love hearing how this simple science experiment is working in other classrooms and homes. It is one thing for it to work with my learners, but to hear that others are enjoying the simple science fun makes it even better.
We did this experiment last year, and my students loved it! We had such great conversations about the types of clouds and how they change when it gets windy or stormy. It was wonderful. Lets just say when six kids go through a whole can of shaving cream and are choosing to repeat the experiment over and over, you know it was a success! I will definitely be doing this one again this year! – Jenny
Another way I keep science simple is with my science notebook. Not only are there specific science activities, but the general experiment and exploration pages always save the day when I am in a crunch. I usually create a science chart based on my science notebook pages to complete together. Then let my learners create their own using a printable for their notebook.
Free Science Chart
My goal is to make science and specifically this simple experiment easier for you in your classroom. I have a free science chart printable that will help you create an engaging visual for your learners during this activity. Just grab the printable by click the MJCS download image at the bottom of this post.
And follow these four, yep…just four, steps for your science procedure and science chart.
- Fill the cup with water (air)
- Add a thin layer of shaving cream (clouds – water vapor)
- Place drops of blue food coloring on the top of the shaving cream (water droplets)
- Wait for the “rain” to fall
For this experiment it is important to remind learners that this activity shows how the water gets heavier on the top of the cloud and gravity makes it fall as rain. Let them know that we use the shaving cream and food coloring to represent the different forms of water we can easily see.
Want to check out my science notebook?
Check out why I use a science notebook in my classroom here.