hardwareGuess What?

This is a good lesson for the beginning of the scientific method, it also works just for the first day of class for students to get to know one another.

  • Start by gathering up things that are oddly shaped, it is important for the grade level to find things that students can't easily identify (take a trip to a hardware store), that way they must rely entirely on the description of the object to convey what it is.
  • Students will have an object at their desk when they enter class, they are instructed to write onto a piece of paper as much as they can to describe they object they have. They are NOT to put their names on this paper. When finished, they are to fold the paper into quarters and turn the description in.
  • Option 1 - All items are gathered at the front of the class. You read off the students' descriptions and see if the rest of the class can match it to the correct object. I use this option for large classes that I don't want moving around very much.
  • Option 2 - Take the papers and hand them out at random. Students then must wander around and try to match the description to the object. Students generally enjoy this option better, requires more classroom management.

Another Variation on this lesson uses small jars (I use specimen jars, but baby food jars would work also) and fill them with various household liquids and food coloring. The same principle above applies, only the have to find the jar with the liquid described by someone else. This one also incorporates the sense of smell. I try to fill the bottles with mixtures that have lemon juice, perfume, vinegar and other "smelly" things. The students seem to enjoy this one.