Resource 5: Structuring thinking

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Solving problems – thinking about thinking

Here is a challenge!

A lump of Plasticine sinks if you drop it into a bowl of water, even if you lower it in carefully. How can you make the Plasticine float? Can you make it float so well it can carry a small load? How much can it carry?

Try out your idea, then compare your solution with other people’s.

Describe what you did to make the Plasticine float.

What did you already know about that made you choose that solution? Did it work well?

Which design carried the biggest load? What was special or different about it that made it work better than the other designs?

Why could the best design carry a bigger load? What did you see happening as the boats were loaded that supports this idea? What else have you seen that supports this idea?

Predict what will happen if you put boat into salt water and load it again. How much load will it carry? What did you already know about that made you suggest this?

Resource 4: Encouraging student questions

Resource 6: Extend and challenge