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Lesson Plan

Crystals and freezing

Summary: 
Make a crystal ornament with borax, a crystal painting with epsom salts, and ice cream. All activities are making solids, by making solid crystals from a liquid or freezing a liquid into a solid.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Chemistry: Physical Changes, Solutions, Mixtures and Separating (2, 4, 5, 6)
Chemistry: Crystals (7)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Earth and Space Science: Daily and Seasonal Changes (grade 1)
Physical Science: Properties of Objects and Materials (grade K)
Physical Science: Properties of Matter (grade 2)
Procedure: 

If there is snow outside, or it is the winter season, the lesson can be started with discussion and images of snow crystals (see resources). Even better get outside and catch snowflakes on a glove and look for the points on the individual crystals.

Snow is a solid that forms a crystal. Crystals are solids with a regular shape.
Frost shapes on windows are also crystals.
Show an icicle or ice cube - also frozen water, but that formed too fast for large visible single crystals to grow.

Grow crystals made from other materials, and look at their regular shapes:
Borax crystal ornament activity.
Epsom salt crystal painting activity.

Grow ice crystals by cooling water until it freezes, to make a snack:
Make ice cream.
The ice crystals are tiny in ice cream.

Notes: 

Way too many concepts in one lesson for lower elementary grades. Crystallization pretty complicated concept for Ks - change how it is described.

Suggestion: skip the ice cream, and add looking at sugar/salt crystals under magnifiers.

Grades tested: 
Gr K
Site tested: 
General Gordon Elementary