Testing and Investigation
You have all you need for this Splat activity, apart from three notices to post up around the classroom so that they can easily be seen by the whole of the class. One with the word ‘Change’, on it, one saying ‘Measure or Observe’ and finally one for ‘Keep the same to make it fair. Each group will also need blu tac so they can splat their factor cards under the notices as they make their choices.
The teacher reads out one of the testable questions from the answer sheet and asks for the groups to choose the factor card(s) which would be splatted under ‘Change’ for that question. When the teacher decides that the groups are ready, one student from each group moves across the room to splat their answer. Next time the teacher may want the factor for Measure or observe that corresponds to the testable question that they read out and so on.
When students are doing this activity for the first time they may need quite a lot of support to understand how the structure of the question tells them which factor must be changed. Having the question written down for them as well as reading it out aloud a number of times will also help. Think about running through all the factors which could be changed with the class, as if you were a student trying to work out the answer too!
One important point about improving children’s ability to record factors for themselves is the need to be very specific about each factor and to record it in sufficient detail. To simply record the fact that ‘water’ is the factor to be changed is not sufficient. Is it the type of water? Is it the volume of water? Is it the temperature of the water? The Splat activity Fair Test Scramble can be used to reinforce this point. Regular discussions in the classroom about how confusing and misleading it can be when factors are not defined in sufficient detail will also help.