Relief Teaching Ideas

Sharing ideas to help make relief teaching fun, enjoyable, and meaningful.

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Black Pepper Science Trick

Here’s another easy but impressive science lesson that’s been around for a long time. Easy to replicate both at home & in the classroom.

All you need is:
Black Pepper
Bowl or plate
Dish Detergent


– Pour water into a plate or bowl.
-Shake some pepper onto the water.

-Dip your finger into the pepper and water. Nothing happens.

– Dip a different finger in (secretly dip it into some dish detergent before doing the trick).
-Watch as the pepper rushes to the edges of the bowl.


When you add detergent to water the surface tension of the water is lowered. Water usually beads up (you can show this to students by dropping some water on a coin) but when the surface tension is lowered, the water wants to spread out. As the water spreads out/flattens in the bowl, the pepper that is floating on top of the water is carried to the outer edge of the bowl.