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Lesson Plan Title : Making Crystals

Age Range:

Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose:

Making crystals is fun and easy. Students will enjoy watching their crystals form as they note the changes they see in a daily journal.

Objective:

The student will be able to make salt crystals using water, salt, vinegar, and cardboard.

Resources:

Salt

Water

Vinegar

Low container

Cardboard Teacher-created worksheet or science journal

Activities:

This is a multi-day project. Explain that the students are going to each make a crystal and record its growth. Give them a piece of cardboard and have them bend it or cut it into a shape that will stand up. They can then mix 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup salt together in a low, flat container and stand the cardboard up in the solution. Over the next several days have students answer questions and draw pictures showing the growth of the crystals on the cardboard. To create the best crystals do not allow students to move their containers during the process.

During (or at the end of the process) have students explain how they thought the crystals were made. Have them note what happened to the water and vinegar that was in the container.

Sample questions for a teacher-created worksheet:

1. What does the cardboard look like?

2. Are there any crystals visible?

3. Is there solution left in the container?

4. Draw a picture of the cardboard and crystals (if any are visible).

Closure:

Students can also take pictures as the crystal grows and use a computer photo program to create a slideshow. An extra credit activity could be to have students make a model of their crystal.

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