Monday, June 27, 2016

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Preschool Science Inspired by The Umbrella Story

One of my favorite ways to build a preschool lesson is to start with a book and add an activity that relates to that story. Today I'm sharing a rainforest-themed book and a fun preschool science experiment that go together perfectly!

The Umbrella by Jan Brett is about an adventurous boy who heads into the Amazon rainforest looking for animals.  You meet rainforest animals, like a kinkajou and quetzal, who end up having an even bigger adventure than the boy.  Most of the story happens inside the boy's umbrella, which he leaves on the ground while he climbs a tree!

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For your own exciting preschool science activity, you will need a large bowl of water, aluminum foil, and a bunch of small, plastic animals.

Fold the foil into an "umbrella" and place it in the water.  Estimate and hypothesize how many of your animals it will hold.  Start adding the animals, one at a time.

We only had a couple rainforest animals, so our "umbrella" filled up with an assortment of animals!

It held a lot more than we expected!

Finally, it did sink!

Older kids may enjoy talking about displaced water and/or measuring how much the water level changed every time an animal was added to the umbrella.  Younger children can talk about floating and sinking experiments they've done and why an object that normally sinks will float on the umbrella or on a boat.  (An object will float if it weighs less than the amount {volume} of water it pushes aside {or displaces}. Adding weight to the umbrella eventually makes it heavier than the water it displaces.)

Do you love preschool science? We do! Why not check out our collection of more than 150 preschool science activities?! Many are appropriate and fun for older kids too! There is something for everyone!

Since the Olympics will be happening soon in Brazil, I chose this book to teach a little about the rainforest in Brazil. I am joining with a group of kid bloggers this month to bring you activities inspired by the Olympics and the countries involved! For more than 50 fun ideas, be sure to visit HERE!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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Carolyn Wilhelm said...

Great idea! We did something similar in gifted education about designing a boat and seeing how many marbles the boat could hold. This has more jeaning with a story, though.