Simple Science Displays

There is nothing complicated with the following pictures or displays. Just a few of the little things I’m trying to do this year with signs.

I found a tightly furled pinecone on the ground this summer while walking with my family. My sister said, “stick it in a jar.”


“Because it will open and then it won’t come out.”


(My sister is so smart! I want to be her when I grow up.)

Sure enough. We found a Snapple bottle from the recycling and in went the pinecone. Three weeks later and it won’t come out of the jar. I need to do some more research, but I’ve heard that as it dries out it will open more. Right? Maybe? Maybe it needs water? Sunlight? Dark? I might have a LOT of questions for my little sign!

Students noticed the jar in the first week of school and said, “Can we try to get it out?” I told them they could if they were gentle. They were quite confused and started to try to figure out how I could have gotten it into the jar!

We have a fishtank in the libary. Sometimes I display books around it, but I want to do a better job labeling it this year and asking questions about it.  One side of the sign asks about the roles the fish and the humans play in this little ecosystem. On the back it asks students if they can find the male guppies with fancy tails, the females with plain, the babies, the snails, and the fish that clean the tank.

And this one is my favorite.

It’s just a fish tank with a pile of dirt in the bottom. I got the idea from Matt Gomez blogging about his forest floor tank in his Kindergarten class. (Those links are all in chronogical order of his Living Center.) I decided to try something similar in the library and it starts with just a tank of dirt.

On our first day of school I had a 3rd grade student say, “What’s in there?”

“Just dirt. But, wait and see….”

“Oh, but I can’t wait!”

Since the first day many have asked, “What’s in there?”

“Just dirt, but we need to add some more things. What should we add?”

One student tried to convince me that an anaconda would be great. One suggested ants. I said that maybe we should start with some worms and have asked several students if they will bring me some! I might need to start writing some notes so that their parents don’t think they’re crazy! 

Other minor details…. the signs are from Ikea. Have you seen them? They are identified as menu stands and also come in white and blue. I started using them in the spring last year to put up with displays. They’re so quick and easy to change, I love that they are small but noticeable, and I like that I can do both sides!

I also have a petrified rock. A BIG one! Hee! Can’t wait to get that one out on display. (It will work so much better than as a toe-stubber in my foyer.)

I want to see if I can rent out a snake or something a bit more crawly like Cari does in her Centered School Library.

But no to the anaconda. Definitely no!

September 10, 2013
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  • Reply By Amy B.

    You are so brilliant, my friend.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm
  • Reply Ms. O

    Look like fun!
    I’ve wanted to have things like this out since reading A Place for Wonder.
    Haven’t figured out a good way to do it yet. It is too stinking hot for much in the way of outdoor exploration to find my own. Seriously so stinking hot. Like I want to move to Alaska today hot. Maybe when it cools down some I’ll find something interesting. Can’t invest a lot of $ cause we’re so open … things get broken or walk away.

    One of these days I need to hit up IKEA. It’s a long drive. When the house is done and I have somewhere to put stuff. But NO WAY on the snakes. I know Cari does it but NO WAY. I cannot. Deep seated irrational I can’t stand it not happening.

    I’m no fun.

    September 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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