So this week, we are finishing up our unit on Pollution and Conservation. As a rule, we always do a demonstration of the effects of pollution on the environment. Up until this year, we have always just read The Lorax book by Dr. Seuss and then wrote about the effects of his factories on the animals and plants in the areas. This go round, I wanted to make things more interactive and hands on for my students. After reading the book and focusing on the aspect of water pollution, we went online to check out some pictures of recent oil spill disasters and discussed the different methods and amount of money it took to clean things up. Most of my students just thought that they could scoop all of the oil out of the water with a bucket and everything would be okay. I wanted them to know that it is not as easy as it sounds.
To set up the experiment, students were given a plastic tub of water. I went around to all of the groups and "polluted" their water with both cooking oil and glitter~ They were given bags of cleaning materials (paper towel, cotton balls, and Q-tips. The different groups had to use their materials to get the oil out of the water the best they could. Most of my groups figured out fairly quickly that all of the oil was not going to come out. Here are a few snappies of the day's activities~ The kiddoes really enjoyed this one!