Friday 17th June 2022
The theme for this year's science week is GROWTH. The children in Year 4 enjoyed a whole day on this theme, doing lots of activities and investigations all about growth.
Doing physical exercise is important for our growth and development so we decided to get the day off to an active start. We got into small groups and thought of activities that we could do outside that would keep us moving. We set up our gym stations and moved around, having a go at each one. Our cheeks were a bit pink at the end!
Then we went into the woods to encounter some wonderful working worms. Worms create super soil for everything that grows, including trees, flowers and the food we eat. We took out our trowels and looked for different types of worms. We tried to bring them to the surface by creating vibrations, using our trowels and forks, stamping or clapping.
We found examples of surface dweller worms and earthworkers but didn't find any deep burrowers. We think they were too deep!
Back in the classroom, we thought about how plants need water and how the water travels to the petals and leaves through tiny tubes. This is called capillary action. We did an experiment with different types of folded paper flowers to show this. The water moved through the gaps in the paper, causing the folds to swell and the flower to open. Amazing!
We started our day off by worm charming. Before we went into the woods, we did a little bit of research about worms and how they respond to both rain and vibration. Using watering cans and shovels we managed to charm quite a few to the surface. Once at the surface, we carefully studied them under the magnifiying glass, looking for the little hairs on their body that they use to move. Did you know that worms have been around for 600 million years?
Another activity we did was think about ways we could create an outdoor gym with no equipment. Using just what we had in the playground, we worked in groups to present little workouts to the others. You can see below that we weren't afraid to get dirty! We also looked at the capillary action of the folded flower petals. We likened it to how sometimes when we walk in the rain, the water can also travel upwards on our trousers, like it does in plants. The thicker the paper, the quicker our petals seemed to open signalling the quicker the capillary action.
Y4SS set up an experiment with celery to observe capillary action. We filled three glasses with water and put different coloured food dye in each. Then we placed a piece of celery in each glass and waited… and waited…and we are still waiting! We will check the celery daily to see if there is any evidence of capillary action. Some of us predicted that the xylem tubes inside the celery would turn the colour of the water, which we might see if we cut the celery open and some of us predicted that the coloured water would travel to the leaves at the top of the celery. Watch this space to find out!
To further explore capillary action, we experimented with paper towels and felt pens. After cutting circles out of paper towels, we drew circles in the centre with felt pens. Next, we folded the circle twice and dipped the tip of the corner in water. What happened next really amazed us as we watched the water travel quickly up the paper towel to the felt pen causing the colour to spread. Once we’d unfolded them, we thought the circles looked rather beautiful so we made them into flowers and cards and other art.
Our final highlight this week was some extra time in the woods. However, we went in with one purpose in mind – to hunt for worms! First of all, we learnt all about worms and how important they are for the soil. We found out some interesting facts too; did you know that the Giant Gippsland Earthworm, found in Australia, can grow up to 3 metres long? We learnt that worms come out in the rain and that they have very sensitive skin that can sense movement in the soil. So off we went with watering cans, trowels, forks and our dancing feet and we watered and dug and danced until we found worms. We founds lots and all sorts of sizes! One group managed to collect 11 in total and some of us were brave enough to hold them too. We were sure to treat them gently and returned them safely to their habitat after inspection. What fun we’ve had!
What a wonderful and weird Wednesday, full to the brim with science! We found out how to work out how old a shark is! You just see how long they are! Sharks grow constantly through their lives; the bigger the shark the older it is! We wanted to find out if this was a trend for children too. We know that year 6's tend to be taller than year 3's but we wondered if the age of children in 4JD was linked to their height!
We measured ourselves and entered the information into a table. Then together we mapped the class information onto a scatter graph. It was tricky but fun.
We drew a line through the middle and decided that there was a general upwards trend and most older children are taller. However, there were some exceptions and alot of our July birthday children, (who are the youngest), are some of the tallest pupils!
This led to a great discussion about growth spurts, genes and other factors that may affect our height like: diet, sleep, general health and exercise. This was all great practise for our data handling unit we will study later this half term in maths.
We also did some work on illusions and thought about how our perception of the world changes as we grow. The illusions were crazy and fascinating ! Ask us and we will tell you all about them!
Finally we went in the woods to find, identify and learn all about worms. We just love science!
Homework this week - yes, it's science!
You have all got a Glorious Mud investigation to carry out at home - we know how much you love digging after our worm hunts!
We are looking forward to finding out what kind of soil you have in your gardens. Don't forget to take photos of your jars too.
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