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Thermic Bottles

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Material

Eight small receptacles containing water of various temperatures:
2 at body temperature (about 37° C, 98.6° F)
2 about 10° C warmer (about 47° C, 117° F)
2 about 10° C cooler (about 27° C, 81° F)
2 about 20° C cooler (about 17° C, 63° F)

Presentation

  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Remove the four bottles from the box, one at a time.
  3. Place them in a column on the left.
  4. Remove the other four bottles from the box, one at a time.
  5. Place them in a column on the right.
  6. If there are insulators on the bottles, remove them and place them near the top of the table next to the box.
  7. Take the first bottle in the left row and wrap your hand around it.
  8. Feel its temperature and set it down in the front center of the table.
  9. Pick up the first bottle in the right row and wrap your hand around it.
  10. Feel its temperature, if it is a match then set it down in the front center of the table, adjacent to the other bottle.
  11. Move both of the bottles to the center-back of the table.
  12. If it is not a match, place it on the far right side of the table, forming a temporary discard-column.
  13. Pick up the next bottle, feel its temperature.
  14. If it is not a match, place it in the discard column again until you find the match.
  15. Once the match is found, move it to the center-back of the table.
  16. Move the discarded bottles back into the column on the right.
  17. Repeat this process until all the bottles are matched.

Exercises

Exercise 1, Presentation
Exercise 2, Grading

Grade one set of bottles from hottest to coldest. Invite the child to feel the bottles in the graded order. Ask the child to grade the other set of bottles from hottest to coldest.

Language

Hot, cold, warm, cool.

Control of Error

Within the child’s ability to discriminate. The control of error for the Grading exercise is the guide’s graded set of bottles.

Direct Purpose

Refinement of the thermic sense.

Age

3 1/2 to 4 1/2

Notes

The hand is a powerful conductor of heat, so this activity can’t be used repeatedly by many children in a short time period.
Don’t have water that is so cold that it causes condensation.
Always pour water out at the end of the day and let the bottles air dry.

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