Professional Education

Bonfire Science

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4th Nov 2020

Connecting science content to a seasonal activity is a good way to engage the children. Due to Covid restricting the annual Bonfire Night Gatherings, this activity may be an alternative to use in the classroom.

Indoor fireworks – they may not be as exciting as their outdoor counterparts but they are really useful in helping to teach the following science objective from Year 5
Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda.

Before starting the lesson make sure you have carried out your own risk assessment for using indoor fireworks – (we use sand trays , have water close by and make sure the children follow safety guidance before we light the fireworks.).

Split the children up into groups and show them the different fireworks you will be lighting and ask them to predict what they think they will observe – See, smell, hear? Then ask them to draw a before and after picture of the firework. What will be left? Will anything new been formed?

Then safely light the fireworks – one at a time – it’s a good idea to film them so you can look more closely afterwards- and see if there predictions support their results.

We like to use a variety of fireworks to show that some changes result in the formation of new materials eg. Snakes alive, Puff the Magic Dragon, Strobes . The Snakes Alive is usually the most exciting as it actually gets bigger which helps dispel the misconception that a lot of children have that burning destroys everything.

Once the fireworks have cooled down the children can look more closely, using digital microscopes, to see what is left and then research what these materials are.

A nice literacy link is The Firework Makers’s Daughter by  Philip Pullman.

Download our Free Lesson Plan

This easy to follow lesson takes your class through creating a curious creature with peculiar adaptations