Questions and Important Vocabulary

What is volume? (how much space an object occupies)
What is displacement? (when an object is added to fluid, it pushes the fluid out of the way and takes its place)
Scientific method: a way of problem solving that follows steps similar to: identifying a problem, gathering information about a problem, forming a hypothesis, performing experiments to test the hypothesis, recording and analyzing data, stating a conclusion and repeating the work

What you need to know

The Crow and the Jug is about a crow who dropped pebbles into a pitcher of water to allow the water to rise so he can reach his beak in and get a sip of water.

Moral of the story: Where there is a will, there is a way but it helps to use your brain!!

What you will need

Small buckets or tall cups
Pebbles or other small objects like beans or marbles

What to do next

Students will be divided into small groups. Each group will be given a tall cup or small bucket filled with one quarter water. They will also be given some of the pebbles. One pebble will be dropped into the water and see how much the water rises. Talk about displacement. Each student will guess and write down how many pebbles it will take for the water to rise to the top. Start adding pebbles one by one until the water reaches the top and tally up how many pebbles were needed.

Discussion Questions

Who's estimation was the closest?
How many pebbles did it take?
What would happen if you would use a bigger pebble or item?


Morpurgo, M. (2004). The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Chicago Childrens Muesum, Teacher Resources

State Standards

  • Read with understanding and fluency
  • Organize, describe and make predictions from existing data
  • Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems
  • Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences