Long thin strip of paper, 10” x 2’ to 4’ (25 cm x 60-120 cm)
Rectangular unit blocks
Large poster board
1. As you set up the experiment, tell the children that often scientists “estimate” or guess about
the results of an experiment; they’re not sure what will happen, they think about what might
happen, then try to make a good guess.
2. Set up the chairs, with the backs of the chairs facing each other, about 2 to 3 feet (60 cm to
1 m) apart.
3. Tape the paper to each seat, so that the paper spans the distance between the chairs.
4. Choose two children to sit in the chairs so the chairs do not tip over.
5. Have many blocks nearby. Let each child have one block to hold and examine.
6. On the chart, record the children’s names and their guesses as to how many blocks it will
take to break the paper.
7. One by one let the children add their blocks to the paper until it tears.
8. Review the chart.
More to do
Language: Encourage the children to draw or dictate a record of what happened.
More science: Supply the paper and tape, and allow experimentation by the children on their own.