Candy and the Scientific Method!

Hello all! Once again, welcome to The Primary Punchbowl! I am so very excited to be a part of this inspiring group of women. It is unbelievably humbling to find a group of women that supports one another in the way each of them has done for me and I feel beyond blessed to now be collaborating with them in this new venture!

Today I'm here to talk about my favorite subject to teach, science! There are so many things to love about science instruction. It gets kids talking and working on their collaborative skills. There are so many opportunities for a-ha moments. It can be tied into just about any unit or theme under the sun! So this week, it was all about Candy Science for us!

This week, my team and I introduced our students to the Scientific Method. We have chosen to place extra emphasis on teaching the whole process step-by-step. What better way to get our kiddos involved than with CANDY?! Obviously, it's a huge motivator for everyone. So, today... I'm outlining 2 experiments that my class completed this week. And there may or may not (there will be!) a freebie to pick up at the end! :)

Experiment #1 -- Dancing Raisins
This is an absolute favorite of mine.

Alright... I know that this technically doesn't use candy. I know, I know... but raisins are readily available in our school. Every student is given a free breakfast, snack, and lunch daily... and roughly 3 days a week, that snack is raisins. Now, the kiddos get sick of them pretty quickly, so they love having another use for them (I much prefer this use than the throwing them... stashing them in the backs of desks... and some of the other lovely things our kiddos choose to do with them!).

Here is a quick video from YouTube of just how to complete the experiment.

Side note: For more AWESOME videos of science experiments with kids, search Hoopla Kidz Lab on YouTube! 

What makes this experiment a great choice for introducing the scientific method is that there is really only 1 step to the procedure: put the raisins in the soda.

It's a phenomenal way to teach the 6 steps in the scientific method while completing an engaging experiment! Just look at the focus on my kiddos' faces!

My favorite part is listening to their conversations about why the raisins end up dancing!

Here you can see us doing a Scramble and Discuss activity -- the struggle is real, all. We're a week out from Halloween so I've been pulling this strategy out quite a bit, lately.

Experiment #2 -- Candy Sink/Float
This next experiment doesn't have a nifty video.

And unfortunately, full disclosure here... my phone died this week. And I am a total spaz about the cloud... and therefore, I have no photos of this experiment. :( So for that, I am so sorry!

For this experiment, grab a bag of mixed candy. I prefer the Snickers, Three Muskateers, etc... bag. Then, have your students hypothesize which candies will sink or float. A lot of kiddos will say the same thing for all of the candies. But it's pretty interesting to hear their thoughts on why certain candies sink and others float.

I'll give you a quick run-down of how it plays out.
Those candies with nuts in them... sink
Candies with nougat are more airy and tend to float!

Tasting the candy is an integral part of the investigation, but obviously BE AWARE OF ALLERGIES!

Some of my other FAVORITE candy science experiments are:
  • How can we make a marshmallow sink?
  • Floating M's (or S's in Skittles)
  • Dissolve candy in multiple liquids
  • Soak gummy candies in different liquids
  • Melting speeds of different candies
What are your favorites?

So how do I guide 1st grade students to complete full lab reports in a developmentally appropriate manner? Well, it's all about the interactive notebook!

I created this page and made about a bajillion copies. My plan is to slowly phase out use of it as students master the steps of the scientific method.

I am so sorry that I don't have many photos of this page in action  (see above for my spastic phone issues), but I promise to update this post tomorrow as soon as I get to school. 

To make up for it, I'm offering a freebie! Click HERE to download your own copy! 

What are some of your favorite ways to teach the scientific method?

1 comment

  1. Great post! What could be more fun than doing experiments with candy. Love the scientific method sheet, thanks!

    Luv My Kinders


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