A princess theme in a class of preschool students is an intriguing way to introduce early science concepts, but must contain activities that encourage both genders to participate. Be creative in lesson planning to encourage hands-on interaction with the students while promoting scientific concepts and encouraging whole class participation.
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Sugar Cube Tower Absorption
Encourage preschoolers to build a princess tower of four or five sugar cubes high in a paper bowl. The students can make simple hypotheses, or guesses, about water absorption into the cubes of sugar, including whether or not sugar will absorb the water, and how far the water will absorb up the princess tower. Mix a few drops of food colouring to a pitcher of water and pour approximately 1/2 inch of water into the bottom of the bowl. Observe the coloured water absorbing into the sugar cubes and analyse the hypotheses guessed by the students.
Many princess stories include the act of kissing frogs to transform them into princes. Discuss with the preschoolers the ability of frogs to kiss and ask each if frogs have lips. Ask students to name all of the abilities of frogs and the actions that they are able to perform such as swimming, hopping and eating with their long tongues. Print pictures of frogs displaying various activities for students to colour and compile them into a frog book for students to take home. (See Resources for a free printable preschool frog book.)
The Mermaid Princess
Mermaids have been princesses in age-old stories, and studying the characteristics of mythical mermaids as a scientific concept will peak interest among the preschool students. Discuss with the preschoolers the differences between scales and skin and what each do to protect the bodies of fish and people. Using a large piece of mural paper for each student, trace only the top portion of each student's body onto the paper from the waist up and ask students to draw and decorate the science art with a mer-person's bottom half, including scales and fins.
Princess and the Pea
The traditional story of the Princess and the Pea incorporates the concept of layers as a scientific area of study. In circle time, read the story and discuss layers with the students. Ask students to name different examples of layers around the home such as bed covers, triple-decker sandwiches and taco layer dip. With the assistance of the preschoolers, make a gelatin mould with a few layers of gelatin flavours for the kids to enjoy as an afternoon snack.
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