|
 

Observing Crystals

Grade Levels: 2 - 5

Winter is a time to observe and study crystals, especially as they appear in beautiful snowflakes. Even if you live in a warm area, this activity will help your students understand the formation and complexity of crystals, as well as the characteristic of uniformity all crystals share.

Crystals provide information about cloud types, temperatures, and heights of clouds. The shape of crystals varies-many are six-sided or hexagonal in shape, but other patterns exist. After doing this investigation, have your students read about crystals in the library. You may want them to do follow-up mini-reports on crystals and draw some pictures of crystals. Here they will be growing crystals from a solution of sugar and water. The sugar is the seed, or catalyst, that starts the crystal formation.

CAUTION:
Because boiling water is used in this activity, adult supervision is absolutely necessary!

Objectives

  • Students will "grow" crystals.
  • Students will observe the way crystals "grow"

Materials

  • Glass thermal-treated measuring cup
  • 10-inch long string
  • Spoon
  • Pencil
  • Sugar
  • Boiling water (CAUTION: To be poured only by an adult)

Procedures

  1. Pour boiled water into a glass measuring cup.
  2. Add l/2 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve.
  3. Tie the string to the pencil and put it in the cup so that it dangles in the sugar water.
  4. Wait and leave undisturbed for four days.
  5. Have your students tell what happened to the string and describe what they saw.
  6. Have the students tell what happened to the water.
  7. Have your students read and find out what happens inside a cloud when crystals are formed. They will see that all crystals have a definite pattern or symmetry about them. The ions or atoms are arranged in a specific pattern, and this is a characteristic of all crystals.

Excerpt from Elementary Science Activities for All Seasons.


Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for free trial and get our new Black History Month teaching resource pack!

Start Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

Classroom Organization Tips
Did you resolve to get organized this year? Our Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips will help you get your classroom in shape for the months ahead, whether your existing system needs a tune-up or you're ready for a total overhaul.

February Calendar of Events
February is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Valentine's Day (2/14), Presidents' Day (2/15), Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2/21-27), and Leap Day (2/29). Plus, celebrate Black History Month, Library Lovers' Month, National Heart Month all February long!

Black History Month
Black History Month (February) is here. Make sure you have the materials to help you teach this important topic, from historical figures (Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks) and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, to slavery and the Civil War, to racism, discrimination, and the Black Lives Matter movement in America today.

Videos
Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Coding & Computer Science
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, and Hour of Code resources make a great introduction to the computer science skills all students will benefit from.