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This Science lesson teaches all about Crystals and can be used to make Christmas Ornaments

Subjects:

Art, Science  

Grades:

4, 5, 6  

Title – Crystals, Christmas, and Science
By – Linda Newcome
Subject – Science, Art
Grade Level – 4th, 5th, and 6th
Objectives: Students will learn how different crystals are formed, observe crystals in the making, observe with a hand lens and cite the geometric qualities, and relate the necessary natural occurrences needed to create crystals.

Materials: wide mouth glass or heavy plastic jars (peanut butter size), string, boiling water, borax, hand lens, and polygon shapes, pipe cleaners

Skills: math, science, writing, art

Procedures: Teacher provides students with a large white pipe cleaner and instructs students on how to form the pipe cleaners into a snowflake. Meanwhile, teacher boils water in hot pots. Teacher pours needed amount of water into jars (enough to cover snowflake completely). Students stir in 1/3 cup of Borax until dissolved. Using a pencil or popsicle stick tie string to ornament and wrap around stick. Make sure the ornament is completely immersed in borax water solution. This solution is very hot so make sure you use necessary precautions with students. Have a table where solution can cool overnight. The next day you should have beautiful ornaments in the shape of snowflakes with huge crystals. Using dried crystals in jar and a hand lens allow students to observe, draw, and write what they see. Discuss how different crystals are formed, their hardness, and the geologic phenomena, which creates these magnificent shapes.

Evaluation: Paragraph giving steps of the process used, describing the shapes of crystals, and the environment needed to create such crystals.

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