Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun with accents

The subject of accents came up this weekend following an interesting discussion on world languages. The boy was interested in the idea that people could speak English in different ways (distinct pronunciations) and wanted to hear examples of this. YouTube was the ideal way to quickly explore a variety of regional accents, including Irish, Scottish, and Australian.

Since then, he can occasionally be overheard muttering phrases to himself in different accents as well as incorporating it into his play.

The British Library has an excellent resource for listening to UK-specific accents and dialects: Accents and Dialects of the UK.


Social Studies: Characteristics of different environments

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dancing raisins

Okay, now this was just cool.

I've heard about the dancing raisins experiment many times and often wondered how well it really worked. Well, I can now heartily say, along with the boy, that it works really well!

We filled our glass containers with carbonated water, dropped a raisin in, and sat back to watch. Sure enough, the bubbles soon gathered around the raisin and carried it to the top of the water. Once there, the bubbles popped and the raisin sank back to the bottom until enough bubbles had once again clung to it to begin moving it upward again.

The kids asked great questions. "What if we put more in?" "Does it work with other things?" "What if we filled the glass with raisins?" "Will it keep doing it forever?" We discovered that it does indeed work with other things, including lentils, dried cranberries, and even beans! The beans were particularly interesting because, being smooth and heavier, it took longer for a sufficient amount of bubbles to collect on them and carry them to the top.

Who knew raisins and carbonated water could be so engaging?


Science: Observation, description