On Thursday we once again were talking clouds. We started off our mat session with a little experiment with Ivory soap. Ivory soap has been made with air pumped into it. This allows the soap to float. An ingenious idea in itself. Ivory soap does magical things when heated in the microwave. I told the children we were going to do an experiment with some Ivory soap. I explained that the soap had air in it to help it float in the bath and then armed with this information I asked them to predict what might happen when we put the soap in the microwave.
One child suggested it might melt. I asked why she thought that and she said that sometimes things melt in the microwave and someone else said that chocolate melts in the microwave. I reminded them that there was air in the soap. I asked what happens when you put air in things. Someone said they blow up. I said that yes balloons blow up when you put air in them. I asked them what happens when you heat up a corn kernel. Someone said that it pops and blows up. Then I suggested that we put the soap in the microwave for 30 secs or so and see what happens to it.
We watched the soap rotate around in the microwave and the children exclaimed excitedly when they saw the soap puffing up. We watched it grow and grow and grow. When we took it out of the microwave it shrunk a little but it looked like soft, fluffy clouds. It smelt like shaving cream and was soft like soap flakes to the touch.
After our experiment we talked about the different types of clouds and how some are light and wispy and others are big and fluffy. We documented the different types of clouds onto blue card with cotton wool balls: cirrus, stratus, cumulus and nimbus.