Now I know what you are thinking, how can a simple egg get kids excited about learning science. Really it is not a simple egg but what you do to an egg that will have them wanting to know more.
Here is how you start-take a raw egg and add enough vinegar to completely cover the egg. Let it sit for 24-48 hours.
Here is what the egg looks like after 2 hours-
As you watch the egg you will see little bubbles coming off the egg. The acid in the vinegar is breaking down the calcium carbonate of the eggshell.
After 48 hours, the shell of the egg is gone and the egg is actually bigger! This happens because once the shell is off, all you have is the membrane of the egg. In the membrane are tiny holes which allow the vinegar to flow into the egg-which is why the egg swells.
Here is what the egg looks like:
So here is the lesson: Begin by telling your students that scientists love to ask questions about the world and do experiments to test out their ideas. Today they are going to become a scientist!
Give the students a plain egg to observe (make sure your students are not allergic to eggs!) Have them generate as many words to describe what they see, what the egg feels like, and if the egg has any smell. Be sure and tell the children to be careful with the egg.
You can use this chart to help your scientists generate observations:
Then give them the egg that has been in vinegar! The will be amazed. They can again make observations and generate words to describe the egg. Then you can tell them what you did. You can also ask the students what they are curious about. Get ready though-when you ask them this question, the questions will start flying!
To generate an experiment, ask the students what they could change about the liquid. They could change the brand of vinegar to see if it makes a difference. Or they could change the thickness of the liquid. This is what I lead or guide my students to pick. This is a picture of the egg in Kayro Syrup. It is the same egg after it has been in vinegar but you put it in the same amount of syrup. This is a great time to talk to the students about how scientists keep everything the same-we use the same egg, same amount of vinegar, same cup. Again let it sit for 48 hours and then make observations. This time the egg will shrink! Why? Because a thick liquid does not take up as much space as the vinegar.
Allow your students to observe what happens and discuss with their fellow scientists. To connect to literature, read the book An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston. This is a great book that gives a scientists description of eggs around the world. When you read this book your children will learn all sorts of new words!
If you want to read about how this lesson was used in a Kindergarten classroom, check out this article.
Come back soon and I will post a picture of the egg after it has been in the syrup!