http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bethsbook-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=080503854X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrMr Grumphy’s Outing by John Burningham and Pamela Allen’s Who Sank the Boat? provide the perfect excuse to splash around in a cool tub of water on a hot July afternoon. In both stories the characters pile into the boats until they reach maximum capacity and ultimately sink the boat. As each new character is introduced children can make predictions of what will happen next. After reading the book children can investigate the sinking scenario as described below.
A lot of math and science can be explored with this activity. Give each child or small group a square sheet of aluminum foil (6″ x 6″) and ask them to shape the foil into a boat. Then children then place identical objects (marbles or bottle caps or pennies or paper clips etc.) into their boats until the boat sinks. The goal is to place the most objects into the boat before it sinks.
A detailed lesson plan for the foil boat activity can be found here. Extend the lesson by having different students use different objects then chart the results. Which objects needs the fewest to sink the boat? The most?