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How to Turn a Chore into a Science Lesson

I have a confession to make. I love coffee.  Since I love coffee so much, I wanted to figure out a way to make it a science lesson. My motive? I wanted my children to make me coffee. You guessed right, I drink coffee throughout the day!

If you do too, make it into a lesson. You welcome! Here is a focus question you can use for the lesson. Which coffee brewing method makes the best coffee?

Okay, this is not a scientific question but we can use scientific skills to arrive to a personal opinion. 

Let’s get started! Gather materials. We used the following two brewing methods:

  • french press machine
  • sock filter

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I rallied the children and told them that we were going to do a tasting lesson. Um, I mean, chore, I mean science lesson. You get the point. We started with the sock filter. A sock filter is an old brewing method were you insert a metal wire to flannel or cotton fabric. Cool, right?

I told the girls to microwave 2 cups of water for 2 minutes, pour 2 scoops of coffee in the sock, and steep the coffee for 5 minutes. We then moved to brewing coffee with the french press. We used the same quantities as before in order to have a fair comparison. Now my children know how to brew coffee using both methods. Chore accomplished! Can you sense the coffee chore being a regular on our list? 

After my daughters brewed the coffee I asked them to serve me coffee in two mugs without telling which cup was from the sock and which cup was from the french press. Then, I had to “blind test” the coffee and describe it.  Permission to savor the coffee in middle of the day? I love this chore!

Because it was a science lesson, I mean chore, they did the blind test too. We recorded our personal opinion in a piece of paper and compared our results. Here is the picture of my subjective data. 

My children thought that coffee is disgusting and couldn’t come up with a decision of which brewing method is better. But I enjoyed this chore, I mean lesson! It was fun and I got them to make me coffee.

How do we turn a chore into a science lesson?

  • Find a chore your children currently do or you want them to do.
  • Find an alternative method to doing the chore a different product/method/tool etc. 
  • Invite children to figure out how to compare, record, and come to a conclusion. 

And even though this lesson is not scientific in nature it sure makes for a great sciencish (is that a word?) family activity. It was fun and I got to enjoy another coffee cup.

What chore do you want to turn into a science lesson? Leave a comment below and let me know which chore(s) you want help turning into a science lesson. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Published by Reizelie Barreto, PhD

Reizelie is a former homeschool parent and a trained science and Montessori teacher with a passion for curriculum development. She loves learning and teaching and on her spare time she helps families create home environments that enrich a child's learning. Reizelie has a PhD in science education and has been working in the field of education for the last 19 years. She loves helping teachers, schools, and homeschooling families improve their science curriculum in ways that are authentic to scientists' work.

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