Physical Science is not focused on in the Primary class although the children are introduced to the basics of it. You can find many ideas in books or the Internet although just because they are experiments does not mean they are right for the Montessori classroom.
These Exercises should be placed next to the Practical Life area for easy access to cleanup materials and near a water outlet. The Exercises must all be safe for the child to use alone. For example, flotation, surface tension, and magnetism. These are all safe and interesting for the child to see. Occasionally, the teacher may do a special demonstration on a science phenomenon. These are one-time events, done only by the adult but presented so the child has a view of the particular phenomenon. These are usually science events that are not appropriate for the child to do alone, such as how an egg can be sucked in a neck of a bottle, or the reaction of oxygen to fire. For older children, experiments can be written out on index cards and kept in a file on the science shelf. The equipments needed to do these should be on the shelf as well. The child can then choose an experiment and following the instructions, proceed with the experiment.
The vocabulary and language in the experiments are taught in an informal manner and taught within the experiment itself. Explanations are not given outside of the child’s questions. The purposes are to make the child aware of scientific pheromone and to absorb it with interest and care.
Children know that science is important. They absorb some sense of it in the daily culture. By giving the child some experiments, we make the child aware and arise his interest in scientific phenomenon. This interest can grow and if the child continues in the Elementary class, he will have many opportunities to do these experiments. For some children, this can lead to a growing interest and can culminate in a future career choice.
- A small jug
Have the child bring over the material and have him fill a small jug with water. Place an empty glass on the table where it is clearly visible to you and to the child. Fill the small glass of water to the brim. Slowly, and one small coin at a time, gently slip a coin into the glass. Watch with the child to see the water tension “hold” the water together without spilling over the edge. (It is extremely interesting to see the convex water form a sort of “bubble” over the rim of the glass without spilling over the edge.) Watch for when the water overflows. Discuss informally with the child what he saw. Then clean up and the child can have a turn.
- A small glass
- A bowl with small coins
- A paper cloth
- A sponge
- A water-proof clothe
(Such as: a stainless-steel spoon, a plastic spoon, a candle, feather, a small porcelain jug, a coin, ribbon, a straw, a match, a peg, a piece of rope, rubber band, a hair pin, and a marble)
- A basin
- A jug
- Two cloths
- A bucket
- A large sponge
- A bag full of objects that float and objects that sink
Have the child bring the material over to the table. Lie out the water-proof cloth and place the basic in the center with the two cloths on opposite side of the basic. Have the child fill the jug of water and then pour the water into the basin. Tell the child that you will place one object from the bag into the basin and see what happens. Place one object at a time and discuss whether the object sinks or floats. After each try with an object, place it on the cloth to the left of the basin if it floats and on the cloth to the right of the basin if it sinks. After a few examples, allow the child to place one object at a time into the basin. Once all of the objects have been tried, look and informally talk about the objects. Replace the objects into the bag and dry all of the material before putting it away.
- A large water glass
Light the candle and place the glass upside down over the flame. See what happens. (The oxygen will get “sucked out” and extinguish the flame.)
- A box of matches
A small candle
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