In this hands-on inquiry activity, students design and carry out a procedure to determine if store-bought sponges found in everyone’s kitchen can absorb more water than their animal counterparts found in the ocean. As they are planning their investigation, students must apply the scientific method to make sure that the comparisons between the two sponges are valid and meaningful. The activity requires the availability of small animal sponges, which are the remains of living organisms that lived in the ocean.
Document camera-ready images and notes allow you to move through an introductory teaching presentation. Project images of sponges and information that is provided in a graphic format. The activity itself is very hands-on, as student are measuring, pouring, and getting their hands wet!
The data table to record the results is included and can be integrated into a laboratory notebook. Two versions of custom graph paper are also provided, one blank and the other with the X and Y axis scales already labeled. This allows you to differentiate the graph.
If students finish early, there is a Venn diagram with answer key where students compare animal to synthetic sponges. This could also be used as a homework assignment.
Links to Science Activities using Sea Shells
Sea Shells in Vinegar
Sea Shell Crystals
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