Valle Catholic kindergarten students recently had a physical science lesson
on learning whether an object is solid, liquid, and gas. They used the Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” to help them.
A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But when the students dip their hands slowly into the mix, they see what happens as their fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.
This 1949 book introduces students to the concepts of physical science. Dr. Seuss incorporates elements of physical science in a story about a King who tries to change the weather. One day the King of Didd decides he is bored with the usual rain, snow, sun and fog that falls from the sky, he desires something more. He orders his magicians to create something else to fall from the sky and they decide to create Oobleck. The magicians announce,
“‘Won’t look like rain. Won’t look like snow.Won’t look like fog. That’s all we know.We just can’t tell you anymore.We’ve never made oobleck before.'”The oobleck begins falling from the sky and sticks to everything, creating a gooey, green mess. The oobleck starts clogging up bird’s nests and instruments, it forces its way indoors through cracks and open windows. The Captain even tries tasting some and finds the oobleck makes him ill. All the while Bartholomew is trying to find the king to fix the problem. In the end, all the king has to do for the oobleck to go away, is publicly apologize. As soon as he says, “I’m sorry” the oobleck disappears, the sun comes out and the whole town is returned to peace.