29 February 2008

Movie or Book? You choose

After we had read The Iron Man, we decided to watch the film version, The Iron Giant, so that we could compoare and contrast the two. They were, we agreed, very different from one another. Michelle summed it up: "In the book it was different than in the video." Patricia added: "There were only one or two things the same; otherwise it was all different."

Here are some of our observations:
Max: When the Iron Man lost his pieces in the story, he stepped off a cliff. In the movie he was in pieces because of a train.
Giulia: In the movie I saw a deer killed. That part was not in the book.
Patricia: In the book the Iron Man couldn`t talk. In the movie he could. There was no mother in the story.
Per: In the book the Iron Man was living near a farm. In the movie he was living in the forest.
Evie: In the book they buried him in a hole. They didn`t in the movie.
Dangi: In the book the Iron Man could change the colour of his eyes. In the movie they only went red.

So now, the big question: which did you prefer; the book or the movie? Perhaps it was a sign of the times that made the movie the winner by a large majority.....but I take heart from the comment of two of my book-lovers, who both agreed that books are better because you see the pictures in your head.

27 February 2008

Patricia's Mystery Material

Patricia tells us: 'I'm not sure if this is paper. I got it from a sweet that I got at Christmas.

It's shiny.'

Max then comments: 'I think it's foil because paper doesn't feel the same way and also foil is silver and paper is white.'

Dangi says: 'I think it's metal.'

Max adds: 'It is metal; foil is made of metal.'

Then Joe starts thinking: 'I think it's made out of plastic because it feels more like plastic than metal. Plastic feels warm.'

Well, what can it be? Paper? Metal? Plastic?

Here's what we found out:
  • First we tried the tear test. Everyone was given a small piece of foil to tear. Joe tried to tear the mystery material. We found that the foil tore very easily

    but the mystery material was too tough; it was impossible to tear.

  • Next we tried the squish test. Everyone was asked to squish their piece of foil very hard. Joe tried to squish the mystery material. We found that the foil stayed squished up tight

    but the mystery material opened up again.

    So what do you think our mystery material is? Is it paper? Is it metal? Is it plastic? Is it something else altogether?

22 February 2008


Have you ever played stuck-in-the-mud?

You know the game I mean. Two people are the tigers (sorry, did you say taggers?) and they have to chase everyone. When they catch someone, that person has to stand still with their arms out (as if they are stuck in the mud, you see) until someone (not the tiger) sets them free. Yes?

Well actually, no.

We have a much more exciting version. With real mud.

So, do you want to know how to play?
OK, first you take the biggest bar of Swiss chocolate you can find. And break it into b i t s. It's solid, you see.

Now get the cooker nice and hot...

and put some water on to boil.

Remember that delicious (hey, you didn't sneak a little taste while no-one was watching did you?) looking bar of solid chocolate that we broke into b i t s? Well, put it into a pan over the boiling water...

until it melts and is no longer solid.

Now what have we got? Yes, a bucket of gooey, sticky, liquid mud.

Now, take a spoonful of gooey, sticky, liquid mud...

and spoon it onto a piece of greaseproof paper.

Now take three gummy bears (no don't bite their heads off!) and push them into the gooey, sticky, liquid mud...

Now go and do some maths or something. And come back later. What do you think will have happened? Will the mud still be a gooey, sticky liquid?

Oh dear, those poor teddies. They seem to be stuck. In solid mud.....

I wonder; what could we do to unstick them?

feely games get some rules.....

So, we have the playing pieces; we have the blindfolds; we have the enthusiasm.....(in spades!) Now all we need is a game plan.

To that end, we spent the first part of this morning 'playing' our new games and trying to establish exactly what would make them fun to play.

Justin thought that if we played with our little brothers or sisters, we might need a rule like 'No ripping' so that the cards wouldn't get torn. Matthew D noticed that if you tip your head back when you are wearing the blindfold, you can see underneath it, so he thought that there should be rule which says 'No peeping underneath the blindfold'.

As well as rules we realised that there should also be instructions so that even if we weren't there to explain how the game is played, other people would be able to play it.

Here are some of the instructions we thought of. We have used them for a game that has ended up as a mixture of everyones' games.

First shuffle the cards...

and then put on a blindfold.

Choose two cards...

and feel them carefully.

Then, when you think you have found two the same...

take off the blindfold...

and check to see if you are right.

The winner is the one with the most pairs.

What do you think our game should be called?

21 February 2008

feely games

The other day, we watched a video about fabric.

We found out that fabric can be made from 'natural' materials like wool and silk (which come from animals) and cotton (which comes from a plant).

Fabrics like nylon and polyester and rayon are made from 'man-made' materials. 'Man-made' materials all come from oil.

As well as looking different, fabrics can also feel different; they have different textures.

We thought that we could use the way a fabric feels to make a game to play. Our games would be a little bit like those where you have to turn over cards to find matching pairs. But instead of looking to see if you have found a matching pair, you would have to feel the difference.

First of all we cut out a set of twelve cards, all the same size and shape. Then we emptied our huge bag of fabric onto the carpet.....and had fun choosing six pieces, all of which had to have a different texture.

We carefully cut each piece of fabric into two, making sure they were the same shape and size as our cards.

Finally, we glued the fabric pieces onto our cards.

Like this.....

06 February 2008

How does heat change things?

We know that if you put a piece of bread.....
in the toaster.....
.....it changes. First you begin to smell a delicious smell that makes your mouth water. Then, when it pops out, you notice that it looks different as well; the bread has changed colour; it has turned a golden brown colour (and if you are unlucky it might even be a bit black!) It has also changed texture; it is now probably crisp.

We wondered if the amount of heat made a difference.
This is what we did to find out.

We took two pieces of butter

two pieces of chocolate

two pieces of candle wax

and two spoons of sugar

We put them each onto a square of tinfoil.

We placed one set in a warm place (we sat them on top of a table lamp) and the second set in a hot oven

We left both sets for five minutes and then we observed closely to see if there was a difference between them.

This is what we noticed:

In the warm place.....

the butter and the chocolate melted a little round the edges

the candle wax started to melt a tiny bit

and the sugar didn't change at all.

In the hot oven.....

some parts of the butter turned brown and the yellow fat bubbled

the chocolate did not melt; it went black round the edges and underneath

the candle wax turned to a liquid

and the sugar changed to a darker colour and it melted a bit and stuck together.