We did this fun experiment in our classroom last week and let the crystals grow for a week. It was fun and it goes along with our unit on Rocks and Minerals. Here are some samples of our cool Salt Crystals experiment.
I used a briquette and then we cut little evergreen tree shapes out of cardstock and glued them on bowls next to the briquettes. Then we added solution and food coloring to both. And let them sit for a few days. This is after about 2 days.
We sent home the directions for our experiments too. We also looked at salt crystals and sugar crystals under viewers on black paper and did some Water Jelly Crystal experiments too. Fun!
I have this book in my class. I tell the kids all about this old timer photographer who took old fashioned photos of snowflakes and proved that no 2 were exactly alike when their crystals formed. I also have a copy of his book, where he photographed hundreds of snowflakes. It was interesting to share. Our crystals kind of look like snow or snowflakes.
This one turned out the prettiest with all the colors of the rainbow and some pretty good growth. All the kids made one and took it home.
I searched for lots of experiment ideas on the internet for this newly developed unit. I’ve not had to teach rocks before. But I think we learned a lot about them. Check out my 3 Types of Rocks Flapbooks we made too. They are cool.
Here they are ready to take them home after a week. They looked pretty cool. We talked about gems
and crystals and how they are found in metamorphic rocks which are under a lot of heat and pressure. That’s how
diamonds and many expensive gem jewels are made.
This was right after we had mixed the solution and added food coloring to our salt crystals experiment. It is salt, ammonia and laundry bluing.
Here they are after about 24 hours….lots of stuff growing and a little liquid still left….. We just left them on the counter and kids could view them several times a day. Everybody had their own. Here they are after a weekend….a few still had some sediments in the bottom.
But most of them were purely crystals by then….really interesting to see all the different colors and formations…..
This salt crystal formation was really freaky looking. Lea ended up with a really pretty purple and blue one. I think they look a lot more interesting growing on the cardstock “tree” instead of on the charcoal briquette. Next year I think we will do trees in a clear cup. That would be maybe better for transporting home too.
Check these flap books out HERE. There is also a cool video on The Rock Cycle check it out! HERE.
It was a fun bunch of experiments. We still have to do the layers of the earth in clay. That will be our last bit of the ROCK UNIT. It’s been such a cool earth science unit to study. The kids learned A LOT!
THIS IS A FUN VIDEO/SONG DESCRIBING THE ROCK CYCLE “WE WILL ROCK YOU!”By Cassidy and the Band Queen.
What is the rock cycle? The Rock Cycle isacontinuousprocessbywhichrocksarecreated,changedfromoneformtoanother,
destroyed,andthenformedagain into a different type of rock. The rock cycle occurs in the different layers of the Earth. The 3 types of rocks are: SEDIMENTARY, Metamorphic and IGNEOUS. Here are our ROCK FLAP BOOKS we made and illustrated to show the 3 kinds of rocks.
Igneous rocks flap book pages. We drew a Cool volcano and shiny, black, volcanic mica rocks.
For igneous rocks we drew volcanoes of course….and Andrew and his mom came in and showed us a fun model volcano using the baking soda and vinegar experiment…..it was enjoyed by all!
Sedimentary flap pages…. we learned that sedimentary rocks include fossils of dead animals and plants and pebbles and shells, because they are found in sediments leftover from water areas of the earth.
For Sedimentary Rock we drew a canyon or an arch near a lake where you might find fossils, and sedimentary types of rocks..
Here were some “fossils” we made with plaster of paris to go along with what you find in sedimentary rocks.
Metamorphic rocks….we drew models showing the inside of the earth cut open and a type of rock that would have some crystals inside of it from all that underground heat and pressure. Metamorphic rocks used to be either igneous or sedimentary.
Rock Flap Books – Metamorphic Rocks page….
A cool lesson plan and free worksheet on layers of the earth can be found HERE at Volcanoes Alive. Another one I liked is at aktsunami.com. It had a downloadable fill in the blank diagram that looked fun and both of these will go along with my clay lesson plan. Another great resource for Rocks is HERE at mjksc teaching ideas.
We also made crystals from ammonia, salt, bluing and some charcoal briquettes.
We learned about the Rock Cycle – mostly from this THINKQUEST and a few books and posters on Rocks, Volcanos, Crystals. I have posters like these in my classroom, plus we watched the Magic School Bus video on Volcanoes. Thanks to one of my mom helpers and Andrew, her son, we had a cool demonsotration of a Volcano erupting using baking soda and vinegar and a model volcano. At Teaching Ideas there is a fun matching activity that kids might like to do at a science center.
ROCK FAMILY SONG Check out this song about the different types of rocks HERE.
A fun wordsearch and a little quiz on layers of the earth to go with it can be downloaded Share PDF.net. It is a little tricky to figure out how to download it, just follow the directions (type in the code) on the upper left hand side of the page. If you go anywhere else it is all advertising tricks. Another one she had was giving each student a mini snickers bar unwrapped in a baggie. They press and sit and stand on the snickers bar and it becomes “changed” like a metamorphic rock, with heat and pressure. What a great idea!
Here are one of our crystals close up. It was very colorful. The top shows the “tree” we made out of cardboard and how it really grew a bunch of cool crystals. The bottom is a rainbow looking, charcoal piece.
HERE is a cute printable SONG about the 3 types of ROCKS!
Check out ROCKY’s Rock Cycle. Also HERE at Have Fun Teaching is a Rocks ABC Order Worksheet we also did. It has many of the vocabulary words we studied this week.This KIDS GEO.COM website is SUPER GREAT because it has cute songs to go along with WONDERFUL pictures of all 3 rock types.
I ordered this book from Amazon along with another one called “The Rock Factory” by Jacqui Bailey. Both were great for introducing rocks to kids.
CLICK ON THE BOOK ABOVE to order one. Another cute activity I wanted to do this year too is to have the kids paint a Pet Rock. I collected smooth river rocks from Bear Lake this past summer for that very purpose, since I knew I’d be teaching rocks and minerals.
A bunch of fun worksheets I found HERE at School Express. There are word scrambles and word searches with ROCKS as the theme. A cute song I found at at Beakers and Bumblebees as well as some fun, edible experiments we could do. I think I’ll try the one with red, chocolate disks, melted like hot magma or lava, and then reformed when cooled into “igneous” rocks. We could add some chipped candy canes to the hot magma like gems and crystals which are sometimes found in igneous rocks. We looked at photos of Mt. St. Helens the volcano that erupted in Washington, and we looked at Calderas in Yellowtone National Park.
Do you know what a rock wants to be when it grows up??
What do you call a dog who collects rocks?
What do you do to a baby rock?
What is a rock’s favorite kind of music?
Where do rocks sleep?
How do rocks wash their clothes?
What is a rock’s favorite transportation?
What is a rock’s favorite cereal?
Where is a rock’s favorite golf course?
What is a rock’s favorite television show?
A Rock Star
Rock ‘N Roll
On the rock cycle
“Third Rock from the Sun”
We also did “Layers of the Earth” with models in crayon and clay (with a BB for the solid core). Check them out HERE.
VOCABULARY WORDS We did our spelling list using these words as well as vocabulary this week. 1. Igneous rock- rock formed from cooled magma or lava. 2. Sedimentary rock- rock that formed when sediments were pressed and cemented together. 3. Metamorphic rock- rock that formed when another kind of rock was squeezed and heated deep inside Earth’s crust. 4. Rock cycle- the process of rocks changing into other kinds of rock. 5. Fossils- the remains or traces of an organism that lived long ago. 6. Volcano- a mountain built up from hardened lava, rocks, and ash that erupted out of Earth. 7. Lava-melted rock that flows out of the ground onto Earth’s surface. 8. Magma- melted rock below Earths surface 9. erosion – when bits of rock and sand are taken away by wind or water and packed as sediment somewhere else. 10. crystals – a mineral having a clear structure with cut faces. (like quartz) We are almost done with our unit. It’s really been fun to teach earth science to my students.