Winter, is my favorite season inside of the classroom (But not outside for sure)! There are so many fun winter things to do that are engaging, bring cross-curricular learning opportunities, and simply put -- winter fun! Last week, as part of our Winter Thematic Learning, making crystals was a major focus.
First we did some experimenting whole group with sugar and salt crystals, using this video on youtube.
Making Borax Crystals
It was now time for each student to be able to make his/her own crystal using Borax.
Borax, a cleaning product found on the laundry aisle, makes (almost) no-fail crystals.
On the first day, we made our solution of hot water and borax, heating it on our classroom hotplate.
The kids wrote their names on craft sticks and made designs with pipe cleaners. Some of them were pretty simple, but some students created elaborate creations! I provided plenty of pipe cleaners to provide for optimum creativity.
After pouring the borax solution into cups, we added the pipe cleaners deep into the solution with the craft stick balancing across the top. Next, we set the cups aside. Although instructed not to touch the crystals brewing in the cups, students were given opportunity to take a peek at their creations and talk with each other about their crystal. This is a great time to see the scientific processes at work in a natural way. It is also a time for students to develop oral language as they talk back-and-forth about the process of making crystals.
The next day the kids poured the water off and examined their crystals! They pulled out their stick to reveal the newly formed crystals.
We wrote about the experiment during our writing time, then bagged everything up for the trip home.