Rafts and floating.


Today’s lesson was about floating. We have done versions of this lesson before, when Nicholas was younger. But this time I wanted to make it more about states of matter, density, and him doing things.

Our practice words for the day were : raft, float, density, and on.

We did our normal addition work sheets before we started.

Then I handed him a pair of scissors and asked him to cut the foam we were going to use into strips. Cutting is a skill that takes practice, just like writing. It always takes longer than you would think.

Then we measured how long the rafts might be and cut the duct tape to the length Nicholas wanted the rafts. Then we laid the foam onto the tape and finished the rafts by wrapping the tape around both sides. Abby even got to make her own raft by laying the foam strips onto the tape. You can also do this craft with glue and wood sticks.

Then we took the rafts to the pool outside. We wanted to see if they would float – they did. Then we practiced putting things on our raft to see if we could make the rafts sink.

Rocks, bark, twigs, leafs, grass, toy cars, a Barbie ….they all went onto the rafts. Some made the rafts sink – made them more dense than water- and some things didn’t make the raft sink.

We went back inside and defined density, using the correctness and volume words and concepts.

Then we went outside for some water fun. The fun part was just as great as the rafting lesson. While we were out, the outside chairs got turned over and the rafts were made to float down the river ( hose over the back of the chair = river). Almost everything in the backyard got floated – or tried – down the river. It was another good lesson for them to learn, and they did it all on their own.


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