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BEST and EASIEST Science Experiments for Teaching English


English students enjoying science
If you want to introduce your students to the fun world of Science while teaching ESL, then we've got you covered with these 5 fun and easy experiments with things you already have! Here are the best Science Experiments for Teaching English

Skittle Rainbow

Maybe the easiest out of all the experiments, all you need is 3 items and then you are ready to go!


Skittle colours rainbow experiment

Materials

The materials that you need are:

  • A plate

  • A small packet of skittles

  • A cup of warm water.

Step by Step Guide

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials mentioned above ready to use and close to hand.

  2. Put your plate on the table and open your packet of Skittles. Place the Skittles in a circle, making sure there are no big gaps.

  3. Pick up your cup of warm water and slowly pour it into the middle of the plate. Stop once the skittles are submerged halfway.

  4. Get ready and watch as the colours slowly go from the Skittles and move in a beatiful rainbowpattern towards the middle of the plate.


Why choose this experiment?

Students always seem to like this experiment because it's easy to follow and exciting to watch as the colours slowly flow from the skittles into a beaufiful rainbow. It really feels science is coming alive in front of their eyes!


Do I have to use warm water?

Warm water is the best to use for this experiment. It allows the experiment to work at a speed slow enough for the students to observe the magic taking place but also not too slow that the students will lose focus or get bored.


How long does the experiment last?

From when the students place the water on the plate, it will take a few minutes for the colours to move to the centre of the plate, giving students enough time to make their observations and talk about what is happening in front of them.,


What ESL content can I link to this experiment?

The obvious topic you can link to this is colours, but there are also many other topics that can be used for this experiment. Try to use as many colours as possible and get the students to identify all of them.


You can also do this experiments with a number of different shapes. You can ask the children to place the skittles in different shapes and let them observe and consider which shape is best for making a skittle rainbow.


An easy way to include more English vocabulary is let the students describe what they see. They can use words such as fast, slow, flow, and beautiful etc, paired with some open questions and sentences to really ensure the are able to use there English for this experiment.


If you want to get really sciency, then you can talk about the process of diffusion. This is simply the movement of particles (for this experiment the sugar) from a place of high concentration (the edge of the plate) to a place of lower concentration (the middle of the plate).



Lava Lamp

Another experiment that is really exciting for the students to watch as it happens. This Lava lamp is easy to make and only takes a few easily accessible materials.


Homemade Lava Lamps bubbling away

Materials

The materials that you need are:

  • 3 cups

  • Water

  • Cooking oil

  • Food colouring of your choice

  • 1 Effervescent tablet

Step by Step Guide

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials mentioned above ready to use and close to hand.

  2. Place an empty cup in-front of you and put 1/4 of the way with water.

  3. Place a few drops of food colouring of your choice into the water and mix well.

  4. Next use your cooking oil and pour 3/4 of the way into the cup.

  5. Get your effervescent tablet and place it into the cup. It will only start to react when it its the water at the bottom of the cup.

  6. Get ready and watch as the the tablet starts to react with the water. Coloured drops will start to flow up and down the oil making it look like a real lofe lava lamp.


Why choose this experiment?

This is a creative and new way to introduce science into the classroom but is also simple enough that even the newest of ESL students will be able to understand the few steps to complete the experiment.


How long does the experiment last?

The experiment prep can last for a few minutes as you guide the students through the set up. Once you drop the effervescent tablet, it will continue to fizz and bubble for a few giving the students more than enough time to observe and talk about what is happening.


Do I have to use cooking oil for this experiment?

We believe this experiment words best with cooking oil. Any other oil won't have the same effect or give the desired look where students can observe the experiment clearly.


What ESL content can I link to this experiment?

There is a lot of ESL content you can potentially link to this amazing Science experiment. The easiest would be colours, where different members of the class choose different colours, so the students can observe different colour lava lamps


If you want to get really sciency, then you can talk about density. Density is a physical property that measures how closely packed together a substance's particles are. For this experiment, oil is less dense than water, so it will float on top of the water, allowing you to create this homemade lava lamp.


Foam Rain Clouds

Next on our list is this very simple but also fascinating experiment where the students can make and observe how rain clouds work.

Food colouring clouds science experiment

Materials

The materials that you need are:

  • A cup

  • Shaving cream

  • Food colouring

Step by Step Guide

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials mentioned above ready to use and close to hand.

  2. Put your cup on the table and fill it 2/3 with water.

  3. Shake your can of shaving cream and fill the rest of the cup with it. It will naturally stay on top of the water.

  4. Use any food colouring you want and slowly place drops around the shaving cream.

  5. After you place so many, they will start to fall through the sahving cream, making it look like its raining from clouds.


Why choose this experiment?

This experiment is a new and innovative way to bring science and the weather topic together. It requires minimal materials and can give students a lot of fun and pleasure understanding how clouds work.


How long does the experiment last?

This experiment is great because you can repeat it several times because the set up and clean up are so easy. At first the drops won't make it through the shaving cream. Only after you apply more will it become too heavy and they will start to trickle through and down into the water below.


Do I only have to use one colour for this experiment?

If you have different colours then be sure to use them for added effect and a cooler looking experiment. You can use a few colours together to show when it became too heavy and started to come through into the water.


What ESL content can I link to this experiment?

The two main topics that you can link with this experiment are the weather and the colours. It is better to focus on the weather for this one because a lot of experiments can be linked to colours but not many for the weather.


If you want to stay sciency, then you can introduce the water cycle and the aspect of precipitation. This is where a form of water, such as rain, snow, or sleet, that condenses from the atmosphere, becomes too heavy to remain suspended, and falls to the Earth's surface.


Walking Water Experiment

Our next experiment is about how water can travel and mix with each other to create new colours. Its easy to complete and you can choose as many colours as you want.

Water walking experiment

Materials

The materials that you need are:

  • Cups

  • Paper towels

  • Food colouring

Step by Step Guide

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials mentioned above ready to use and close to hand.

  2. Place 6 cups in a circle and fill 3 with water. Make sure the water filled cups are not next to each other. For example, Water - No water - Water - No water...

  3. Drop the 3 primary colours food colouring into different water filled cups.

  4. Get your 6 pieces of paper towles and fold them into long rectangles.

  5. Then carefully place each side into a different cup, making sure they touch the bottom of each cup.

  6. Watch as the water will start to travel from one cup into the next one, mixing the 3 primary colours into 3 mnew secondary colours.


Why choose this experiment?

This experiment is a cool and exciting experiment that shows students the concept of water walking. They can see how it can travel using the paper towels to another cup and mix to make new colours.


How long does the experiment last?

This experiment is fun to do but does take a little longer than the other experiments, but the finished product is definitely worth it. Depending on which paper towels you use will set how long it takes.


How many colours should I use for this experiment?

for this experiment its better to use the three primary colours, red, blue and yellow. In between these leave the empty cups so they can mix together to make three secondary colours, purple, green and orange.


What ESL content can I link to this experiment?

It is easy to just focus on colours, but this is a better opportunity to demonstrate how colour mixing works and the differences between a primary and secondary colour.


In terms of the sciency bits, you can begin to explain the process of capillary action. The water travels through gaps in the paper towel fibers and "walks" into the empty jar. This is a process called capillary action, and is what helps water climb from a plant's roots upward to the rest of the plant and leaves.


Bouncy Egg

Our final experiment is a special one which takes care and precision but the results are definitely worth it.

Glow in the dark bouncy egg

Materials

The materials that you need are:

  • Cups

  • Raw egg

  • Vinegar

Step by Step Guide

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials mentioned above ready to use and close to hand.

  2. Put your cup on the table and fill 3/4 of the way with vinegar.

  3. Place the raw egg into the cup with the vinegar and place it in a safe space while you wait for the reaction to take place

  4. After 24-48 hours you can take the egg out of the cup and carefull give it a quick wash in water.

  5. Then there you go! You have your bouncy egg.

Why choose this experiment?

This experiment is one that needs a little more patience, but the final product is completely worth the wait. The final product is so fascinating, the students would never have seen an egg like this before!


How long does the experiment last?

This experiment is amazing but patience is needed for the magic to work properly. After you put the egg in the vinegar, it usually takes 24-48 hours to work. We recommend closer to 48 to be sure all of the classes eggs have turned bouncy.


What ESL content can I link to this experiment?

You can use this experiment to help the students learn the different animals that live on a farm and understand how animals are born in an egg.


In terms of the sciency bits, you can begin to explain the process of osmosis. Through a process called osmosis, the vinegar moves through the egg's shell. The vinegar dissolves the calcium in the egg's shell but cannot get through the membrane in the shell. This leaves behind the rubbery membrane that allows you to bounce the egg without breaking it!

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