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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Physical Science: Festival of Bubbles
Subject: Science
Grade span: 3 to 5
Duration: 45-60 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Investigating Science Through Inquiry


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice of Investigating Science Through Inquiry. In this activity, students explore soap bubbles, what makes good bubble-blowers, and the properties of bubble-making substances. Students pose questions and conduct investigations to find answers.

Learning Goals:



One or more days before investigation:
  1. Prepare soap solutions. Remove 1 cup of water from each of 3 one-gallon jugs of bottled water; add 1 cup of a liquid and 60 drops of glycerin to each jug; shake gently. Label each solution. Note this recipe makes enough soap solution for weeks of activities; about 1 cup for each group is used in this lesson.
  2. Cut large pieces of plastic to cover the tables.
  3. Review the lesson, print and make copies of all printouts, and assemble all materials.
Day of Investigation:
  1. Pour solutions into labeled pint containers.
  2. Organize materials in plastic tubs, trays, or baskets—one for each table/team—1 cup of solution, 4 to 5 straws (1/person), plastic cover, rulers, tape measure, pencils or pens, learning logs (if used, 1/person), sponges.
  3. Have vinegar, squeegees, and buckets on hand for clean-up. First squeegee the area to remove as much soap solution as possible, and then sprinkle vinegar over the area and squeegee again or wipe with a sponge.
Safety Considerations Safety Considerations:
  • Students should wear safety goggles to protect their eyes.
  • Students should wear smocks, oversized T-shirts, or aprons to protect their clothing.
  • If solution gets in a student's eyes, instructors should wash the student's eyes with clear water.
  • Instructors should have a bottle of vinegar and a mop or towel handy to clean up any spills on the floor. Newspapers can also be used for clean-up.
  • After the investigations, students should wash their hands to remove any soap solution.

What to Do:

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Learn More:

Learn more about the 5Es.

Festival of Bubbles is adapted from the Lawrence Hall of Science Great Explorations in Science and Mathematics (GEMS) curriculum series, Bubble-Ology and Bubble Festival. For more information and ideas, see the Resources page.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.