Students work with five different samples of wood (basswood particleboard, pine, plywood, and redwood) to observe their properties. They begin with free exploration time, go on a wood hunt to find matches for their samples, drop water on the samples, float them in basins of water, and discover a way to sink them. They test two pieces of wood to find out exactly how many paper clips it takes to sink them, and then organize their results by making a concrete bar graph.
Students begin by using sandpaper to change the shape of wood. They compare sawdust and shavings and how they interact with water. They simulate the manufacture of two kinds of wood they observed: In activity I particleboard and plywood. Finally, students are introduced to nailing and staining and apply all the skills and concepts they've learned to make a wood sculpture.
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