After discussing the topic of sand for the last few weeks, Preschool friends in Room 4 took a plunge down into the ocean to figure out where and how sand is formed.
We observed sand through magnifying glasses and determined that they were small pieces of “something?”
Next, we felt the sand and investigated its texture. Students thought it could be made from flour that we cook with, but other students explained that the sand wouldn’t be rough like it is if it were made of flour. After watching a video of waves washing up onto the shore, a friend noticed how large clumps of sand and seashells were washed away with the wave. It was then discussed how the power of the waves moves the seashells and the rocks of the ocean around and makes them smaller, creating little pieces that float about… making sand! After discussing this, we made our own ocean to observe just how this happens. We took a large plastic bin and scooped up 8 piles of sand to put at one end of the bin, then we added some rocks and water with blue dye to look just like the ocean.
Students each took turns rocking the bin back and forth to observe how the sand and rocks got washed away from the waves we made. Once each child had the opportunity to form waves with the bin, we took turns picking out a rock, cleaning it, and placing it into a closed container.
Each student shook and shook his/her container and we watched our water turn from clean and clear to murky and dirty. Students were excited to see that the rock was slowly breaking away and creating tiny pieces of sand! We added the sand we had made to our “ocean” and then put clean water and a rock back into a container to add to our science center. We want to see how many days, weeks, or months of shaking it will take for the rock to completely turn into sand!
After discussing and looking at pictures of different sea creatures, preschool students swam through a “tunnel of the ocean” to get an even closer look at the kinds of animals that live deep beneath the waves. The class worked together to make their ocean tunnel by attaching several boxes and finding pictures of ocean animals on the computer to place inside the tunnel. Some additional sea-like features were then added such as seaweed and shells for a more realistic feel of swimming deep into the ocean!