AIMS SCIENCE PROJECTS

LESSON PLANS:

SPINNING GHOSTS

TOPIC AREA:  Air       (Lesson takes about 20 minutes -not including preparation time)

OBJECTIVE:  Students will learn how to make a paper ghost spin and answer the question,

"What can we do to this paper ghost to make it spin?"

SKILLS:        Math:  predicting, graphing (counting, whole number computation, interpreting

data).

Science Processes:  Observing and classifying, controlling data, gathering and

recording data, applying and generalizing.

MATERIALS:

5 paper ghosts cut from bond or construction paper

Prediction Graph

Paper clips (metal)

Markers for each graph (one for each student)

DIRECTIONS:

PREPARING THE PREDICTION GRAPH:

1.  Cut out the five ghosts.

a.  Ghost number one:  paper clip at bottom

b.  Ghost number two:  paper clip at bottom, fold arms of ghost forward.

c.  Ghost number three:  paper clip at bottom; one arm forward, one backwards.

d.  Ghost number four:  no paper clips.

e.  Ghost number five:  use this ghost for demonstration.

2.  Glue the ghosts (4) to the TOP of  prediction graph which should look like this:

Prediction   Graph

4.  Make a name card for each student.  These will be used for students to place their name on the prediction chart to guess which ghost they think will spin.

PROCEDURE:

1.  Hold up the paper ghost and explain to the students that the ghost you are holding can only "float" to the ground.  Demonstrate this by letting go of the ghost.  Have students comment on what they observe.

2.  Tell the class that you want to make the ghost spin around as it floats down.  Have the children think of ways that they could make the ghost spin.  Record the ideas on chart paper.

3.  Show the prediction graph.  Explain that the ghost in each section has been changed in the following ways.  1)  by adding just a paper clip to the bottom; 2)  by adding a paper clip and bending the bottom;  3)  by adding a paper clip and bending one arm forward and the other backwards;  4)  by keeping the ghost just the way it is but by blowing on it as it falls.  have the students show their predictions by placing their name cards in the sections on the teacher's prediction chart (above example).

4.  Discuss the graph - significance

5.  Demonstrate each of the ways shown on the graph by adding a paper clip and/or folding the arms of the ghost and tossing it in the air.  Have students observe and discuss what they see.

QUESTIONS - DISCUSSION:

1.  Which way was the best way to make the ghost spin?  Is that the way most people predicted would be the best?

2.  What effect does the paper clip have on making the ghost spin?

3.  What are some other things we may try to make the ghost spin?

4.  What other objects spin?

LANGUAGE ARTS EXTENSIONS:

1.  WRITE ABOUT THE EXPERIMENT.. PREDICTIONS - PROCESS - RESULTS.

Discuss the  conclusions.  Draw/illustrate the lesson.  "What did you learn from this experiment?"

2.  Poems - Five Little Ghosts Dressed in White:

3.  ART:  Make patterned ghosts and decorate.  (Glow in the dark paints are great for this project).