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This unit provides students with the opportunity to observe the phenomena of buoyancy. Students will engage in inquiry about why some things sink and some things float. Students will explore properties of materials. Students will plan and construct their own floating containers from clay and compare it to containers already constructed. Students will experiment with their boats and the concept of displacement. Students will also measure the buoyant force in water using fishing bobbers and a rubber band scale that they construct out of K’nex. The science skills emphasized in Buoyancy are collecting data, manipulating, observing, and predicting. This collection is available as downloadable PDFs, but portions of the content are found in wiki format (see WIKI Learning Experiences and Resources) which can be edited or built up with other materials on the same topic by members of the Curriki community. More About CABOCES Welcome to the Math, Science, and Technology Department (MST) of Cattaraugus Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services (CA BOCES). As a department of Instructional Support Services (ISS), we provide Math, Science, and Technology kits along with support services to meet the needs of the individual districts in our area. The BOCES Teaching and Learning Center at Allegany provides hands-on math, science, and technology kits to over twenty area school districts in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. Our department provides forty-three different varieties of kit topics. The kits cover topics in math, life science, physical science, chemistry, and earth science. Each kit contains a teacher's manual, student activity book, materials inventory list, instructional video, and materials needed to complete each learning experience. Each kit aligns with the New York State standards and prepares students for the New York State assessments. Contact Information BOCES Teaching & Learning Center @ Allegany Math, Science, Technology & Health Dept. 80 N Fourth St, Third Floor Allegany, NY 14706 Phone: (716)-376-8272; Fax: (716)-372-0621 http://www.caboces.org http://www.mstkits.org http://www.nyreal.org


  • Science > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5


buoyancy sink float density mass displacement submerge



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Update Standards?

SCI.K-4.1.M3.1a: Science

Use appropriate scientific tools, such as metric rulers, spring scale, pan balance, graph paper, thermometers [Fahrenheit and Celsius], graduated cylinder to solve problems about the natural world

SCI.K-4.1.T1.1a: Science

Identify a simple/ common object which might be improved and state the purpose of the improvement

SCI.K-4.1.T1.1b: Science

Identify features of an object that help or hinder the performance of the object

SCI.K-4.1.T1.1c: Science

Suggest ways the object can be made differently, fixed, or improved within given constraints

SCI.K-4.1.T1.2a: Science

Identify appropriate questions to ask about the design of an object

SCI.K-4.1.T1.2b: Science

Identify the appropriate resources to use to find out about the design of an object

SCI.K-4.1.T1.2c: Science

Describe prior designs of the object

SCI.K-4.4.P3.1e: Science

The material(s) an object is made up of determine some specific properties of the object (sink/ float, conductivity, magnetism). Properties can be observed or measured with tools such as hand lenses, metric rulers, thermometers, balances, magnets, circuit testers, and graduated cylinders.

SMT.PK-6.1.M3.1: Math, Science and Technology

explore and solve problems generated from school, home, and community situations, using concrete objects or manipulative materials when possible.

SMT.PK-6.1.E1.1: Math, Science and Technology

describe objects, imaginary or real, that might be modeled or made differently and suggest ways in which the objects can be changed, fixed, or improved.

SMT.PK-6.1.E1.2: Math, Science and Technology

investigate prior solutions and ideas from books, magazines, family, friends, neighbors, and community members.

SMT.PK-6.1.E1.3: Math, Science and Technology

generate ideas for possible solutions, individually and through group activity; apply age-appropriate mathematics and science skills; evaluate the ideas and determine the best solution; and explain reasons for the choices.

SMT.PK-6.1.E1.4: Math, Science and Technology

plan and build, under supervision, a model of the solution using familiar materials, processes, and hand tools.

SMT.PK-6.1.E1.5: Math, Science and Technology

discuss how best to test the solution; perform the test under teacher supervision; record and portray results through numerical and graphic means; discuss orally why things worked or didn't work; and summarize results in writing, suggesting ways to make the solution better.

SMT.PK-6.4.P3.1: Math, Science and Technology

observe and describe properties of materials using appropriate tools.

SMT.PK-6.4.P3.2: Math, Science and Technology

describe chemical and physical changes, including changes in states of matter.

SCI.5.2.A: Science

describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable;

SCI.5.2.B: Science

ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology;

SCI.5.2.F: Science

communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms; and

SCI.5.2.G: Science

construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

SCI.5.5.A: Science

classify matter based on physical properties, including mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), relative density (sinking and floating), solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy or electric energy;
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2008-08-03.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

In this comprehensive five to nine week unit, elementary students (targeted for grade 3) will design and test their own boats, then research different types of boats before moving onto investigations of displacement and buoyant force. Activities have clear objectives. The unit does reference a number of videos that accompany the kit in “real life,” but the online version requires the user to locate identical or similar videos on his or her own. This resource includes correlations with NY state standards, though objectives may easily be aligned with other standards. Each “kit” in the Curriki repository includes a teacher’s manual and student activity book. The teacher’s manual includes a unit overview, extensive and clear background information materials, preparation instructions, discussion questions, an assessment with answer key, cross-curricular extension ideas, a glossary and teacher references. Each student manual includes clear, reproducible student handouts and a glossary. The last section in the “kit” is a wiki, and Curriki members are encouraged to edit and build up the existing curriculum. This excellent lesson can be immediately useful in the classroom.
Anne Schreiber
June 26, 2009

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