Dec 16th, 2011
LAKE WALES – Students in Shelley Batson’s class found an intriguing collection of objects on their desks recently: Styrofoam cups with chocolate powder mix inside, small marshmallows, candy canes, and scoops of marshmallow cream.
Batson gave her Polk Avenue Elementary fourth graders an assignment that challenged their writing and science skills.
First, students discussed what they already knew about mixtures and solutions. Then, they poured warm water into their cups to observe and evaluate. Using the candy cane, students stirred the chocolate mix and warm water together.
“Students discovered they created a hot chocolate solution, once the chocolate powder was spread evenly throughout the warm water,” said Batson.
Next, students added the small marshmallows, and began writing descriptions of the hot chocolate. The teacher reminded students to answer common questions. What do you see? What do you smell? What does it remind you of?
Finally students were allowed to sip their hot chocolate, and describe the experience. What did it feel like on their tongue? What temperature was it? What does the slurping sound like?
Finally, students were told to add a scoop of marshmallow cream. Then they were encouraged to touch the goo and write what it looked and felt like.
As a follow-up journal entry, students pretended they were a marshmallow already in a cup of hot chocolate when more marshmallows were poured in. Students gave their point of view, including dialogue, from both marshmallow perspectives.
PHOTO #1: Johann Rosales shows off the mixture in his cup.
PHOTO #2: Hallie Shepherd (left) and Lexus Rainwater sample their “experiments.”
PHOTO #3: Caleb Rentz tries to think like a marshmallow.