Dancing Currants
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Approach:  Team
Level: Year 4 and year 8
Focus: Explaining properties of gas  
2 plastic glasses, Working Together team guide, lemonade,
12 currants, team answer sheet, 2 sample cups

Preparation: Put a glass in front of each pair of students. Half fill the glasses with lemonade.
Discuss Working Together Team Guide.

In this activity you are going to watch what happens when you put currants into lemonade. So that you can easily see the currants, I have set up two glasses of lemonade. [Student 1] and [Student 2] can watch this glass and [Student 3] and [Student 4] can watch this glass. Look carefully from the top as you drop in six currants. Keep watching to see what the currants do, and talk about why they are moving.

Hand pairs of students six currants to drop into the lemonade. Allow time.

Now as a team you are going to talk about the questions on this sheet [same as below]
and listen carefully to each other’s ideas. Then you will write down your team’s ideas.

Hand out answer sheet and read questions to the students. Allow time.

Now tell me the answers you have decided for the questions.

% responses
2007 ('03)
Why do the currants start to go to the top?
carbon dioxide/gas/bubbles/air attach
to currants
18 (17)
28 (42)
these bubbles etc. help to lift
(currants to surface)
53 (50)
64 (64)
Why do the currants then sink to the bottom?
bubbles etc. pop
41 (40)
63 (56)
less/no bubbles etc. to make
currants float
20 (15)
32 (27)
What are the bubbles made of?
carbon dioxide
6 (10)
37 (32)

Total score:
0 (0)
6 (7)
3 (5)
13 (13)
19 (13)
28 (22)
20 (22)
18 (24)
28 (28)
22 (20)
30 (32)
13 (14)
Because this was a team task, no graph of subgroup performance is possible. There was substantial improvement from year 4 to year 8, and no meaningful change in performance at either year level between 2003 and 2007.