My school does enrichment clusters, based on the research conducted by Renzulli and Reis. My cluster this time around is Natural Disasters, and of course the children asked immediately if we could build a volcano. They all knew how, and they all knew exactly what would happen. Even so, they wanted to do it.
Last week they built the thing out of sand and glue with a 16 oz. water bottle as the base. Fifteen minutes later I had twelve gooey hands and a table full of water to contend with, along with the expectant faces of children ready to witness the explosion. And
Fast forward to today. The paint came out so they could make the mountain look more realistic, and finally it was time for the eruption. The knowing voices chimed in: "Ok, let's put the water in. Do you think this is warm enough?" "How many drops of food coloring?" "What should we stir this with?" "Ms. M, can I pour the vineger?" "I want to put in the baking soda!!"
At this point I stopped the students. I had read about a different way to add the baking soda and I asked the kids if we should try it. One fifth grader was saying that all it was going to do was bubble over... we've all seen it 1,000 times. What was everyone so excited about? Let's just try it and see if it would make a difference. (I had no idea if it would or wouldn't.)
I explained the new process to the students and J got the scissors and kleenex. We made our little pouches, the kids popped them into the bottle, the requisite orange fizz started bubbling up and....
Orange spray EVERYWHERE! Two feet high, all over the table, all over our shirts, on the floor. Squeals of delight!
The custodians will NOT thank me for this stunt, I'm sure. And as for the parents, they had better hide their food coloring!