This is a simple object lesson that helps children and young people explore the concept of fairness. We all know that life isn’t always fair at times.
Materials: Clear drinking glass filled with one cup of water, fresh egg, ¼ cup salt, a permanent marker, and a tablespoon
Carefully place the egg in the glass of water. Tell the students that the egg (You may want to give it a name like “Eddie”) “represents someone who is not being treated fairly. Sinking to the bottom represents how someone who is left out or mistreated would feel – sad, depressed, defeated, unappreciated, and unloved.
Remove the egg from the water and set it aside. One tablespoon at a time, add salt to the water. As you stir in each spoonful, explain that the salt represents different ways to show fairness towards others. For example: following the rules when playing a game, taking turns and sharing, treating others with honesty and respect, and taking action to help someone being treated unfairly.
After you have added all of the salt, put the egg back in the water. (If you want, you can put a smiley face on the egg with the permanent marker) and it will now float. Explain that now “Eddie” is being supported with kindness and “held up” by the fairness and acceptance of others.
How it works
Salt water is denser than ordinary tap water, the denser the liquid the easier it is for an object to float in it. When you lower the egg into the liquid it drops through the normal tap water until it reaches the salty water, at this point the water is dense enough for the egg to float. If you were careful when you added the tap water to the salt water, they will not have mixed, enabling the egg to amazingly float in the middle of the glass.
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