Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Sank the Boat?

Yesterday, my 4yo ds received a book at church; this was his reward for reading for 10 hours this summer. (Well, I actually did the reading. That could be a whole 'nother blog entry. Do you know how many hours my older son read on his own compared to how many hours I read to his younger brother? Shameful, I tell you! About 2.5:1 ratio!)

The book, Who Sank the Boat?, is one that I've wanted to buy.

Summary: The reader is invited to guess who causes the boat to sink when five animals of varying sizes decide to go for a row.

Spoiler Alert (as if you can't see this coming!): four huge animals (cow, donkey, sheep, pig) get in, but it's the final passenger, the mouse, that causes the boat to sink.

We did some math and science activities based on the story.

First, collect a variety of objects from around the house. Set out two objects at a time and ask child to predict which is heavier. For some comparisons, I use large, light objects (fluffy pillow) vs. small, heavy objects (rock). Place one object in each of the child's hands and ask him which one is heavier. If you have a balance scale, you can do a little informal work there as well.

We did some float/sink lessons. (pdfs available--I used the picture drawing one for the 4yo, the writing one for my 8yo) The site also links a BBC interactive video where kids get to predict whether various items will sink or float.

Although this lesson is primarily for my 4yo, my 8yo enjoyed participating in the sink/float scientific inquiry. Challenge question...find an object around the house that will trick that I think will float when it will actually sink or vice versa. (My son did it with Playmobile animals.)

Check out more Math Monday links at Joyful Learner or click on the Math Box below to find more math activities suitable for Workboxes.


  1. I like your plans- and the fact that your church has a summer reading program- EXCELLENT!

  2. I just put this link on hold in the library - it sounds very interesting. I agree - sink/float will work very well with it.

  3. So great! I've been looking for some more hands-on fun math ideas for my 4yo. Thanks for sharing!


  4. I haven't seen that book before and it looks interesting. For some reason it reminded me of the riddle where you had to take 3 animals across on a boat without one eating the other. It's been a long time since we did sink and float. Love to check out the book! Thanks for linking up!


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