Chalk Day!

This week is STEM!

We did MAPS a little differently today! We started by sitting in a circle and rolling the ball to each other. Whoever had the ball got to tell us their favorite color.

This game tied in well with our book for today, Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin. Monsters Love Colors

Monsters Love Colors is a bright, bold exploration of the colors of the rainbow. Each monster has a favorite color. The primary colors are described in lively, abstract language (red, for example, is the color of ROAR), and the secondary colors are mixed before the readers’ very eyes. This is a great discussion book because you can ask the kids to name things that are red, orange, yellow, etc. or have them raise their hands if they’re wearing clothing with that color.

Next, we did a science experiment. I poured a little hill of baking soda on a tray. Next to it was a plastic cup with vinegar and an eyedropper. I dropped the vinegar on the baking soda and showed the kids how it fizzed and bubbled. Then I told them about a project I had been working on earlier that morning: exploding chalk paint!

I used a recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose. To make the six bags I had ready, I combined roughly equal parts cornstarch and vinegar in a sandwich bag, and added liquid watercolor. I didn’t mix it as thoroughly as I probably should have. The bag should only be about 1/3 or 1/2 of the way full.

Today was Kendallville Public Library’s Chalk Walk, so we had areas of our parking lots blocked off for people to make chalk art. I took my group to our section of the parking lot and placed the bags a few feet away from each other. Next, I took a big handful of baking soda, dumped it quickly into the first bag, pushed as much air out as I could, and sealed it. This was the hardest part. You have to be quick and seal it before it erupts, but you don’t want any air trapped in the bag either.

All of the bags got really, really big, but we did have to stomp on most of them to get them to actually explode. The kids were more than happy to do this. One of the bags did explode all on its own. It didn’t go very far, but the kids were amazed anyway. I let them dump the rest of the chalk paint on the asphalt, gave them foam paintbrushes, set out a big box of chalk, and let them work. It was a great morning!

Next week is MOVEMENT!

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