Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trick or Treat {A Fun Blog HOP!}

Welcome to this fun Halloween addition to my blog. This is no ordinary post. You will be given the opportunity to look at other "tricks" and "treats" that some of my fellow TpT bloggers have to offer by clicking the link at the bottom of this post. The "HOP" will run from Oct. 24 - Oct. 31st so that you get a chance to pick-up as many "tricks" and download as many "treats" as you would like! Be sure you take advantage of this opportunity, because it's only for a limited time! Once you are finished trick or treating, you should end up back here at my blog.

One of my favorite things that I like to incorporate around Halloween in my science classroom is dry ice. You can find it at most grocery stores (Kroger, Tom Thumb, and sometimes Walmart), but be sure you ask or call around to make sure they carry it! I can't tell you how many times I've "thought" they carried it and was a little discouraged when I found out they didn't.

Due to the fact that dry ice sublimates and you can't really purchase it in advance, I usually do one of two things. I either call the store to be sure they have some the day before and then pick it up before school in the morning, or have a parent helper pick it up for me. I have  a cooler on hand (don't put ice in it) to store it throughout the day. I normally purchase about 10 pounds (it costs a little over $1 a pound). That amount will last me all day for anywhere from 6-8 class periods.

Here are a few other things that are good to have on-hand when dealing with dry ice:

  • Dry Cooler (as mentioned above)
  • Gloves
  • Tongs 
  • Hammer (for breaking up the dry ice into smaller pieces)
  • Hot Plate or Microwave (to heat your water)
  • Containers to store warm water  & demonstrate the effects when adding dry ice to water (buckets, plastic graduated cylinders, small cups, etc.)
  • Food Coloring (to give it that extra POP!)
  • Dish soap (for good clean fun... add it to a bubbling mixture of dry ice and warm water) 
  • Paper towels (to help with any spills)

The Science-Dry Ice Connection
So, how would you incorporate dry ice into a tangible science topic? Here are some things I've done:

  • Discuss the topic of sublimation (changing from a solid to a gas). How is it similar or different than some of the more common phase changes of matter (solid to liquid, or liquid to gas)?

  • Discuss normal particle movement when an object goes through phase changes. When heat is applied to an object do the particles move slower or faster? Demonstrate (or let the kids experiment with it) this process by placing a piece of dry ice against a metal coin, the metal part of their chairs, or any other metal object. The particles are changing state so fast, that you can hear the vibration of this phase change when you push the dry ice against a metal object. 

  • Have students predict what will happen when you place the dry ice in water. Will dry ice sublime more or less than it is outside the water? Why? Will dry ice sublimate faster in warm or cold water?

  • Have students predict what will happen when soap is added to a mixture of dry ice and water.

There are many more things you can do and discuss with dry ice. Don't be afraid to let them experiment and get messy with it. Create that memorable experience that will stay with them longer than that lecture you just gave them five minutes ago. 

Halloween is my absolute favorite time of year to teach SCIENCE! Get this exclusive product FREE, ONLY this week ON MY BLOG.  This is a great tool for reviewing the 4 basic parts of blood and works best for grades 4-9. Click on the image below to grab this limited time FREEBIE!

I'm also giving away my newly created "Measuring Mass Task Cards." Great for helping students read a triple beam balance before they practice with the actual balances.

Sign-up below for this great giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the other great "tricks" and "treats" offered on this blog hop by clicking the image below.

Have a great time Trick-or-Treating!


  1. I love all the ideas for dry ice! What a great way to introduce an abstract concept like sublimation. I'm looking forward to trying it with my 5th-graders :)

  2. I always love new science ideas! I'm a first year teacher teaching science!

  3. I love all the different ideas you give for incorporating dry ice and your Freebie is great! Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. I wish I had you for science. How much fun! Also, I love the dominoes game. Perfect for review. Thanks
    Kovescence of the Mind

  5. Loved all your ideas for using dry ice!

  6. Great blog post! The science idea looks lots of fun!

    Teaching Autism

  7. Oh wow! I LOVE your ideas for using dry ice, I see some exciting adventures in my students' future!

    The Vivacious Teacher