Easy, FREE Science Activities for Your Classroom

Free, easy science experiments for your classroom

Student engagement on the first day of school is more important than you think. Upper elementary and middle school students need to be hooked into loving being back to school o instill curiosity and an interest in science. Including hands-on activities does not have to be costly or time-consuming. Providing fun learning experiences is most certainly a great way to keep them motivated and learning so I try to incorporate these types of engaging activities as much as possible.

I found this activity on Steve Spangler Science. He has a lot of great ideas. I like to use this activity as a way to highlight scientific thinking and analysis skills as well as to develop a strategy for scientific writing. It is super simple to set up and budget-friendly. Some of the items you may already have in your classroom.

My students are given the Claim: The M on an M&M can be removed from the candy.
They come up with a hypothesis to answer this question and also give a reason for their thinking.

Materials include:

  • Package of M&Ms
  • Bowls
  • Warm water

That’s it! Warm-up some water, I am lucky enough to have a microwave in my room. I warmed the water up for about 45 seconds.

Allow groups of students to choose their M&M color. Students can choose any color except brown. Give each group three of the color. Place the M&Ms in the bowl of warm water with the “M” facing up. Allow a few minutes to pass. Students should be observing what is happening.
Engaging and motivating science students on a budget
During this time, you can discuss what is happening to the candy shell of the M&M. Why and how is it dissolving?
Soon, the candy shell will completely disappear from the M&M, and on the top of the water, students will see the floating M. It is really cool to see. This can lead to discussions of what the M is made of that it doesn’t dissolve.
From here, you can also have a discussion on colors. After we are done with the activity, we talk about what will happen if different colors are mixed together. We then mix them to see if we are correct.
Students will now complete their CER evaluation (click to use the graphic organizers my students use to show their thinking). They will write down their evidence and reasoning. For the reasoning aspect, students will want to relate the information they learned about the materials that the M is made of.
Using candy in science experiments
Other great sites for FREE science content:
Other ways to engage your students in your science classroom.

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