Pre-K kids love exploring with ramps! I’ve posted other science activities here before involving ramps. We’ve explored ramps in our science center and we’ve experimented with ramps in small group, which you can find on the Transportation Theme page.
Last week, I set up this ramp experiment as an independent small group activity. In my classroom, the class is divided into four small groups; two groups work with a teacher and two groups work independently.
I set up the table with one of the triangle-shaped large hollow blocks from the Block Center to use as a ramp. In a tray, I put several objects for the children to test on the ramp: some that would go down the ramp and some that would not. I just collected some random objects from around the classroom, but this is what I had:
- bear counter
- wooden cube
- metal nut
- rectangle block
- round block
- marker cap (two different shapes of caps)
- plastic bingo chip
- plastic Easter egg
- lid from a glitter jar
It was interesting that some groups of children said the lid would not roll down because they laid it flat on the ramp, while other groups discovered how to roll it down. Then, one group of children even forced some objects down the ramp by hitting the table with their fists and moving them with the vibration (not really what you’d call “rolling”, but pretty smart problem-solving none-the-less).
Each child had a recording sheet to draw the objects that rolled down the ramp and the objects that didn’t. Yes, I always have kids who balk when asked to draw. I just shrug my shoulders and say “do the best you can”. Also, I told them they only had to draw one thing on each side of the paper, but every child really got so involved in the activity that they drew more than I asked (to the best of their ability). When you do this activity, be sure to include some simple-to-draw objects, for example, the rock, marble, egg, block, etc. (By the way, I folded the recording sheet in half, so there was a line (crease) divided the two sides.)