Save Fred! is one of my favorite beginning of the year activities. I like to use it as our first "real" science activity. We did this today after spending the beginning part of the week going over procedures and the importance of following directions (using the wonderfully hilarious "Follow the Directions Test," I'll make a blog post of this next!).
I found Save Fred somewhere a few years ago and used it as a lesson I had to teach in my college "Science for Elementary Teachers" class. It's fun, builds community, gets kids to work together, and reviews the Scientific Method.
Basically, Fred is a gummy worm who was on his boat (a cup) when it started to sink. Fortunately, Fred had a life preserver (gummy Lifesaver) in his boat! Unfortunately, it was still in the boat (under the cup). The goal is to get Fred into the Lifesaver without touching him, the boat, or the life preserver with your hands. Each person in the group gets a paper clip, though.
I created a worksheet to guide my students through the Scientific Method. This sheet will be on my TPT site. I also made a Prezi that explains this in greater detail. It's not fancy, but it works!
I introduce the worksheet after the Prezi. We go through each number on the worksheet, talking about the Scientific Method and how it applies to this activity. I then put students into random groups of 3 and pass out the papers. I tell each group that they have to fill out #1-4 on the sheet before they can get their materials. This requires them to plan what they will do before actually doing it.
|Fred is SAVED!|
After saving Fred...the groups got to eat him and his family members! With this activity, you just HAVE to let them eat some gummy worms!