Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nursery Rhyme Science: Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Activity 1: Was it more work to go up the hill or down?
Do your students think it would be harder to walk up the hill with an empty bucket or back down the hill with a full bucket?

After students have made their guesses, have them each walk up a set of stairs (or a hill if you happen to have one readily available), carrying an empty milk jug.  Then have them walk down the same stairs with a milk jug that's full of water. 

What do they think now? 




Activity 2: Don't Break Your Crown!
As my son told me, "Crown means head."  And you can use this rhyme to give a quick lesson on the brain.

You'll need a small container (with a tight-fitting lid), 2 eggs and some water.


Throughout the demonstration, the egg yolk will represent your brain and the container will represent your skull.

Crack one egg into the container and put the lid on. 

Agitate the container - you can just shake it, or you can have a student run a few laps around the room with it for it.
Open the container and observe - scrambled brains!
Clean out the container and crack the second egg into the container. 

This time, before putting on the lid, fill the remaining space in the container with water. 

Agitate the container once again.

Open the container and observe - the egg yolk remains intact.  (The egg what froths up a little bit, making it difficult to see at first, but the whole yolk is there).

The water cushions the egg yolk, just as the cerebrospinal fluid cushions your brain. 


Nursery Rhyme Science is a series of short stand-alone activities that can be interjected into a language-intense preschool or kindergarten curriculum with minimum preparation.  Additional Nursery Rhyme Science posts can be found here

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