This is an all inclusive lesson. With it comes a complete formal lesson plan and student lab handout. The lab handout comes in 3 different versions to be used for differentiated instruction for students with various ability levels and language acquisition.
Below is a list of materials and optional materials for the lab. The lab is written so if you don't have all of the substances you can still perform the lab seamlessly. You will need at least 2 of the substances listed if you wish to compare the crystals.
At the end of the lab students answer key discussion questions about the lab and write a conclusion. The conclusion has side text box that students can use to help guide them through the conclusion.
For each group:
•Stirring rod (or additional spoon)
•Container (beaker, jar, or cup)
•Permanent marking pen
& masking tape
•Pencil or wooden skewer
Some or all of the following substances:
(about ¼ – 1/3 cup per group)
•Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt – found in the pharmaceutical aisle)
•Sodium Chloride (Table Salt)
•Alum (Can be found in the spice aisle of the grocery store – I bought McCormick’s)
•Borax (Can be found in the cleaning or detergent aisle of grocery stores- I bought mine at Albertsons)
•Magnifying glasses and/or microscopes (ideally dissecting (stereomicroscope)
Before students can complete the lab (make observations & answer questions) they will need a basic understanding about what minerals are, how minerals form, and what a crystal is. Both my Minerals Power Point and the Minerals reading can be lessons to provide your students with that information. Students can set up the lab before these lessons, if desired. Some of the crystals (like magnesium sulfate) can take 7-10 days to form.
•90 minutes to set up lab --if you use all of the listed substances
(This can be done over 2 different class periods. I would suggest having another assignment (such as homework) that the students can work on if they finish early on the second day of the lab.)
•30-40 minutes for observations & answering lab questions
•10-15 minutes class discussion
Total Time: approximately 2.25 – 2.5 hours
Crystal Lab & Lesson Plan
by ACQUIRE Lesson Plans
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License