As an educator you are responsible for the
implementation of the activities found on this site. You must have
safety procedures and rules established for you classroom and make sure
all of the students follow the rules to ensure a safe environment. South
Dakota Public Broadcasting cannot in any way be responsible or liable
for any injury as a result of using the activities. Use the activities
you feel are appropriate and safe for your individual class. Have fun
and stay safe.
Questions, comments or ideas for Kids Quest can be e-mailed to Edservices@sdpb.org
It is common knowledge that all kids love to play.
Unfortunately, some of the students you have in the classroom are not as
thrilled about math, language arts or science class. Their minds may be
on recess or a television show they watched the night before. The
activity that follows is a very fun and easy supplement to bring your
class alive without straying from learning. The kids will learn and have
The following activity brings the clouds to the students. Our
atmosphere is awesome. The atmosphere is a unique collection of gases,
which provides us protection and life. We could not survive without the
atmosphere. Students may think most of our atmosphere is made of oxygen.
This is a reasonable assumption because we breathe oxygen. This
assumption could not be farther from the truth. Nitrogen makes up
approximately 78% of all gases. Oxygen is second at 21% and all of the
other gases combined make up the remaining 1%. Really fascinating isn't
it? The web sites listed provide more in-depth information about our
On earth water is found in three states of matter. The three forms are
ice, liquid water and water vapor. The following activity will focus on
all three forms. Clouds are visible. We can see clouds. Since a cloud is
visible that means the water found in the cloud is in the liquid phase
or ice phase. There will be vapor in the cloud but we can not see water
vapor because it is invisible. Students find this hard to believe. Some
students believe a cloud is in the vapor form. Water is in liquid or
solid phase on the ground, a vapor in the area between the ground and
the clouds and a solid or liquid in the clouds.
The activity below is a blast but it can be dangerous if completed
wrong. The lab will require the use of dry ice, which can freeze/burn
the skin. Also, large amounts of carbon dioxide will be given off so I
suggest completing the lab outside. Students should never smell anything
in a lab setting. Dry ice (carbon dioxide) in large amounts can cause
suffocation. Don't let this scare you, there are worse items found in
the cabinet below the sink. Kids must learn responsibility at a young
age. Establish strong no-nonsense rules at the beginning of the year and
you will have fun and stay safe. This lab may be used as a
demonstration. Either way, the kids will have fun and learn a lot. The
lab will test the effect temperature has on reaction rate. In general an
increase in temperature results in an increase in reaction. The change
that will take place isn't a true chemical reaction; it is a phase
change. The dry ice will change from a solid to a gas.
Materials per group:
small containers (baby food jars-4 per group)
stopwatch (wall clock with seconds fine-1 per group/1 per class if you
water (must have hot water- enough to fill jars)
thermometer (optional-1 per group)
dry ice (most grocery stores have dry ice- large cube)
hammer (1 per class)
goggles (especially when breaking ice-1 per student)
tweezers (1 per group)
gloves (1 pair per student)
Note: Amounts of material may vary depending on your class size.
Introduction of topic (space) (1-2 class periods)
1. Watch Kids Quest " Fill Your Head With Space”.
2. Cover information in your science text about the atmosphere.
3. Visit educational web sites about space and the atmosphere.
4. Cover the scientific method. The students could use the steps of the
scientific method to prepare a pre-lab investigation. A possible
question you could ask. Does an increase in temperature increase the
reaction rate of a compound? The number of steps completed for the
scientific method varies depending on which book you use. Below are some
sites which explain the scientific method in detail.
1. The lab will show
the students what effect temperature differences have on the rate of a
phase change. Dry ice will naturally change from a solid form to a gas
form at room temperature. This process is called sublimation. The
students should obtain the above materials.
2. The students should fill four jars with water. The water placed in
the four jars should be a different temperature. The actual temperature
isn't needed. The data could be recorded cold, warm, hot, very hot. If
available, a thermometer could be used for exact temperatures of each
3. Now the students will place a small piece of dry ice in each jar.
You, the teacher, should break the ice into small pieces. I suggest
covering the ice with a towel. Then hit it with a hammer. This will
prevent the dry ice from flying everywhere. You should wear goggles and
gloves. The students should wear goggles, gloves and use a tweezers to
pick up the small pieces of ice.
4. The 4 pieces of ice should be placed in the 4 separate jars at the
same time. The students need to use the second hand on the classroom
clock or a stopwatch to keep track of the time taken to change the ice
from a solid to a gas.
5. The students should hypothesize which temperature will produce the
6. The students should graph the data. The students should conclude how
temperature difference affects phase change.
7. The activity can be modified to meet your needs.
(example graph, can be completed on paper)
(does not represent true data)
If completed correctly, the
following standards are used in the activity above. More standards could
be used by including spin-offs of the activity. For example, a paper
could be written about cloud formation.
Number indicates standard number
FOURTH GRADE MEASUREMENT STANDARDS - THE STUDENT WILL:
1. measure time using fractions. (example: fractions of an hour,
fractions of a year) (stopwatch)
1. select and use the most appropriate units for given measurement
2. carry out unit conversions within a system of measurement. (example:
inches, feet, yards) (could convert from degrees F to degrees C)
3. use scales of length, temperature, volume, and weight for problem
FOURTH GRADE STATISTICS & PROBABILITY STANDARDS - THE STUDENT WILL:
2. use appropriate scales to represent data in various forms.
3. interpret and analyze data from graphical representations and draw
5. predict and represent possible outcomes for a simple probability
situation in an organized manner. (example: tables, grids, tree
4. analyze outcomes of probability for both individual and group
experiments and report the results.
5. explain why unlikely events may occur fairly often in very large
FOURTH GRADE NATURE OF SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
4. explore the scientific process as identifying a problem, developing a
hypothesis, experimenting, collecting data, and drawing conclusions.
5. develop questions to formulate hypotheses and use data to make
6. make distinctions among predictions, observations, and conclusions.
7. use appropriate standard and metric measures to collect, record, and
report data in graphical representations. (sec for time)
8. recognize numerical data that are contradictory or unusual in
experimental results. (My happen)
9. recognize the effect of manipulated variables on the outcomes of
events. (talk about)
10. use appropriate scientific equipment for investigations.
11. use proper safety procedures in all investigations.
FOURTH GRADE PHYSICAL SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
1. describe ways in which the properties of matter may vary. (example:
solubility, density, baking soda interaction with vinegar) (extension)
2. explain how physical properties remain the same as the mass is
changed. (example: block of salt will taste the same as a grain of salt)
3. describe observable physical and chemical changes in common
4. differentiate between the states of matter when matter changes.
(example: from a solid to liquid)
FOURTH GRADE EARTH/SPACE SCIENCE STANDARDS- STUDENTS WILL:
1. describe unique properties of Earth as a planet.
5. recognize air as a permanent substance that surrounds us, takes up
space, and is felt as wind.
Source: South Dakota Department of Education Content Standards.