Science Discovery Lesson: Air is All Around Us
by Jan Wuertz, Lean NC
Air is everywhere. It cannot be seen, but it is all around us. This lesson helps students discover that air is everywhere.
- discover that air is everywhere.
- discover that air takes up space.
Time required for lesson: 30 minutes
- Book: Air is All Around You by Franklyn M. Branley
- 7×10 plastic storage bags
- Dishpan-size tub of water
- Clear plastic cup
Discussion about air:
Where is air?
Is air outside?
Is air inside?
Is air in our room?
Teacher traps air inside plastic bag in front of group.
Teacher asks, “Can we see the air in the bag?”“How do we know it is in the bag?”(Air is taking up space.)
Teacher asks, “Do you think there is air inside the Housekeeping Center?” Send a child to trap air in a plastic bag in the Housekeeping Center, and other areas in the room. Show class the air bags.
Air is All Around You by Franklin M. Branley
Show class the plastic cup. Teacher asks, “Do you think air is in this cup?” “Does air take up space?” “Let’s find out if the air in this cup is taking up space.”
1. Put water in tub.
2. Crush a piece of newspaper and push it to the bottom of the clear plastic cup.
3. Turn cup upside down and push it to the bottom of the tub.
4. Pull cup straight up and pull out the newspaper.
5. Observe whether paper is wet or dry.Conclusion: The paper stayed dry because air took up space and did not let water enter the cup.
Students’ verbal answers to questions:
“Where is air? Does air take up space?”
Students’ descriptions of observation of science experiment.
Following the Whole Group Lesson and demonstration of the science experiment, the tub of water, pieces of newspaper, plastic cup, and towels are placed at the Science Table for individuals to experiment with at Center Time. Also, small plastic bags may be left at the Science Center for students to trap air inside.