Absorb & Repel
Investigate how different materials repel or absorb water.
Big Idea: Different materials respond to water differently.
- Cotton shirt
- Piece of light-weight cardboard
- Small stone
- 1 c. soil
- 1 c. sand
- 1 c. flour
- Bird’s feather (purchased from a craft store)
- Spray bottle with water
- 2 cloth dish towels or hand towels
- Vegetable shortening
- Holding a sponge, ask the children what they think will happen to the sponge if you spray water on it. Invite the children to spray the sponge and guess what happened to the water.
- Explain that scientists make “guesses” called predictions, when they do experiments. Once the experiment is finished they have the results/outcomes.
- Create a prediction chart with the following items listed: cardboard, soil, sand, flour, towel and feather. As the group makes predictions as to what will happen to the water, record their responses on the chart.
- Encourage children to spray each item listed on the chart and compare the results to the predictions. Have children discuss the outcomes.
- Place the feather and the umbrella next to the raincoat. Ask how all three items are alike. While the discussion is happening talk about the concepts of absorb and repel. Predict which materials (feather, umbrella, raincoat) would absorb or repel water.
- Ask the children to think about birds and why it is important for water to run off birds’ feathers. (Feathers soaked with water would be heavy and make it impossible to fly.)
- Q. What do the words absorb and repel mean?
A. Absorb means to soak in repel means to push back.
- Q. What is a prediction?
A. A guess about the future.
- Q. Why do sponges absorb water?
A. The holes between the fibers soak up water; it is porous.
- Q. Why do raincoats repel water?
A. Raincoats have fabric specially treated to ward off water.
- Q. Can you name other items which can either absorb or repel water?
- Q. Why do you think feathers repel water?
Predictions About Water
|Objects||Soak In||Run Off|
4.A Understand how literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning.
4.B Read and interpret a variety of literary works.
11.A Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of scientific inquiry.
12.A Know and apply concepts that explain how living things function, adapt and change.
12.B Know and apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and with their
31.A Develop a positive self-concept
Absorb: to soak in
Adaptation: adjusting or modifying physical being or behavior
Attract: to bring in
Porous: permeable by water, air, etc
Prediction: an educated guess
Repel: to push back