Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Year 2 - Week 14 Wonderful Wednesday - WW1 Soldiers and Acid/Base Experiments

Week 14 Wonderful Wednesdays!

Today we dressed up for the military and discussed World War 1!  We focused our discussion around the trench battles.  I had written on a white board the way trenches were built, showed some photographs on my iPad and discussed the conditions and dangers that soldiers faced while fighting in the trenches.  Then I set up a game that was designed to help them better understand some of the challenges of this sort of fighting.
We first set up "trenches" using our gym mats.  They allowed us to zig zag the trench - which was what they did in WW1 and we discussed why that was tactically beneficial to the soldiers.  Next I gave them stuffed snow balls we had, along with rolled socks and those became the "mortars" that the soldiers in the trench were going to use to stop the advancing attackers.  The attackers used Nerf® shot guns and those simulated the rifles that they were issued.

We played it two ways.  The first scenario was to have two girls with Nerf® guns be the attacking troops trying to advance their position and take over the trench.  The other three girls were behind the trench and given the "mortars" and a mirror to look out and try to see their attackers coming.  When the trench soldiers saw them coming, they tried to blow them up with "mortars" before they could get to the trench.  The attacking soldiers tried to penetrate the trench and take it over.  We then switched sides so everyone had a chance to be an attacker and a trench soldier.  The second way we played it was for there to be a sniper.  One girl became a sniper and the trench soldiers had a mission to run out and get rations that had just arrived.  Their object was to get the food and make it back without being shot.  They could bring a Nerf® gun or "mortar" on their mission and shoot the sniper if they saw her on their way to or from getting the rations.  No one made it to get rations.  LOL
Rations Queen :)

The girls discovered that it was very difficult to make it to the trench with the "mortars" flying at you and survive.  The trench soldiers found it was very difficult to leave the trench and survive.  I have to say, we have some very tough girls and they did as good a job as any boy playing army, that I've ever seen!  

The soldiers needed some real "rations" after those difficult battles - so we broke out the "rations bags" and they had a snack of nuts, apple squeezers and turkey jerky (while us Moms set up the experiments)!  I also had made and printed out these WW1 Soldiers' Small Books.  In addition, I gave them dog tags.  We talked about how soldiers were identified during WW1.
Then we moved into our experiments today, which were to better understand acids and bases.
We talked about the Scientific Method and discussed the experiment making a hypothesis about what would happen when the two elements were combined.

We pre-filled an empty water bottle with vinegar and the balloon with baking soda and then had them set in front of each child.  When we gave the word they then flipped the balloon up causing the baking soda to rush into the bottle mixing with the vinegar and causing a chemical reaction that released carbon dioxide gas, this made the balloon inflate.  The bottle also got very cold - which one student was able to connect that dry ice is made from carbon dioxide and that was what was causing the bottle to become cold.  Pretty good, I thought!  

The next experiment was for them to use litmus paper strips to record the acidity or alkalinity of 4 common items.  They had milk, juice, vinegar and water.  They first hypothesized which ones were acids and which were bases.  Then they took paper and wrote the name of each ingredient they were about to measure/test.  One by one they each dipped their litmus paper into the cup to try each one and recorded what number they had a match to on the litmus chart.  Then they discussed which hypotheses were correct.
The next experiment was to figure out if acids or bases cleaned penny's better.  They first wrote each element down and then did litmus tests on each one, recording their result.  Next they took their pennies and one by one they tried each cup to see if it cleaned or didn't clean their penny and recorded their results.  They used vinegar, lava soap shavings in water, baking soda in water and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  The discovered that the vinegar and lemon juice which were both acids, did the best job of cleaning their pennies.
The last experiment was fun!  They took baking soda and dish detergent (1 tspn of each) and put them in a cup.  Then they added lemon juice to it and stirred!  It caused a chemical reaction that made the baking soda and soap combine to create bubbling foam!  Us Moms decided it was a safe way to make bubble bath and we were going to try it out at home one day!
It was a Wonderful Wednesday!  
Link up begins Wednesday January 22nd!

1 comment:

  1. I love the hands-on trench warfare! My son asked to learn about the World Wars this term. We'll have to figure out a way to re-enact the trenches round here.
    The science is right up our street too. So much fun to be had with household supplies!