- a sloping area of blacktop or dirt
- water containers (plastic buckets, bottles, and cups)
- digging tools and sticks
- rocks, bricks, pieces of wood, and other objects that could change the direction of water
- clipboards, paper, markers,
- garden hose
Key Science Concepts
- Water behaves differently on different surfaces.
- Some surfaces absorb water; some don’t.
- Water flows downhill.
- You can change the direction water flows.
Encourage children to use words related to water such as pour, squirt, flow, splash, change directions, absorb, shape, puddle, stream, river, and science process words such as observe, notice, compare, same, different, change, test, and predict.
Tell children that they’ll go outside to make streams that have turns and curves.
- Bring children to a sloping area of dirt or blacktop and have them work in pairs.
- Have them build streams that make at least one or two turns. (If they are working on blacktop, show them the bricks, rocks, and other materials they can use to change the direction the water is flowing in.)
- Take photos or videos of the streams, which you can look at together later.
Reflect and Share
When they are back inside, have children draw the streams they made. Ask,
- What did you do to make your stream turn?
- Did you have any problems making your stream turn? If you did, how did you solve the problems?
- Did you notice when the water slowed down or speeded up when you poured it down your stream? Why do you think that happened? (It’s possible that it will do both.)
You can encourage children who finish quickly to build additional bodies of water that connect their streams—a stream that divides into two streams, for example, or a stream that feeds into a pond.