This activity can be done with partners, small groups, whole group, or as a station! When I did this activity with my students, I broke them up into groups of three and provided each group with their own set of materials. We did this activity after a brief introduction, but it can be done as a hook or follow up lesson. This activity was very hands on and my students enjoyed it. They were able to do it with little assistance due to its simplicity!
The purpose of this activity is to expose students to the idea of static electricity, how it occurs and why some items are more affected than others. That’s why I did it before teaching in depth on the topic, so we were able to make meaning as we learned and reference this activity! It offered real life examples and understanding!
Ziploc Bags (to hold objects)
Balloons (One for each pair/group)
Cereal (Rice Krispies Works Best)
Foam Pieces (I just cut up a plate and divided the pieces amongst the groups)
-Each group is going to need one Balloon (I suggest blowing these up ahead of time due to safety concerns!)
-Divide the materials up equally among the groups- They do not need a lot of each to do this activity. I simply gave my students a square piece of tissue paper, a handful of cereal, a strip of construction paper, a piece of a foam plate, and a square of felt. All of these items were found at the Dollar Tree!
-Give each group a balloon, bag of materials, timer, and recording sheet.
You will need to go over expectations and directions/clarification for the activity! They will make predictions first! ALSO, the tissue paper, construction paper, and piece of foam will need to be cut up into smaller pieces! (I let my students do this as they went through the investigation!)
After they do the investigation, there is a page of reflection questions/extension that they WILL still need the materials to complete!