Chapter Graphic
: Finger Games 
Trend Task
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  Level: Year 8
Approach: One to one
Focus: Students interpreted how their finger responds to heat and cold, and relate this to the use of a thermometer for more objective data.
Resources: 4 cups labelled A, B, C and D, cold water and hot water, thermometer.

Questions / instructions:
Before the session starts you will need have boiled the water and put it in the thermal mug. Before the student arrives: Arrange the four labelled cups in order A, B,C, D. The water in each cup to be of differing temperatures like this: Cup C coolest water, Cup A 2nd coolest, Cup D 3rd coolest, Cup B warmest. In this activity you are going to test water temperatures in two different ways.

mean score

1. Here are four cups of water. First I want you to test the water temperature with your fingers, using the same finger each time.

Now put the cups in order from coolest to warmest.

Fill in the results sheet for question 1.

1. Water tested with finger
cup letter
cup letter
cup letter
Cup letter
2.Water tested with thermometer
reading for this cup
reading for this cup
reading for this cup
reading for this cup
Write the letter from the cup.
Allow student to do this.
correct order
82 (82)
2. Now check the temperature with the thermometer. Write down the thermometer measurements on the results sheet.
not marked
3. Which is the better way of testing water temperature?
thermometer better
87 (91)
Can you explain to me why you think that is the better way.
clear, appropriate explanation
56 (69)
4. Now think about your finger. How is it able to tell the water is hot or cold?
not marked

5. On the results sheet the parts that make up your finger are listed.

Tick the parts that help your finger to feel the heat or the cold.

Which of these parts of my finger affect how my finger feels heat and cold?
finger nails

7 (9)
88 (80)
79 (77)
30 (23)
60 (61)
9 (10)
6. Can you tell me how these parts of your finger work so that your body feels heat and cold?
good explanation of role of nerves
36 (27)
good explanation of other components
14 (9)
Check temperatures and record on student sheet. a
Performance on this task was similar in 1995 and 1999. Understanding of the role of nerves in sensing temperature was quite limited.
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