by Joe Doe
Give some examples (orally) of the importance of record keeping and the people who keep such records:
what is seen in outer space
recording an eclipse/tracking comets
doctors . .
recording your health progress
You should get a good discussion going with total class participation.
Now ask “What we would know about the before-mentioned categories if records were not kept?” Again, oral conversation to stimulate further interest for the sake of mental comparison/reasoning.
On the first page of their journal, have children write two or three paragraphs on the “Importance of Record Keeping.” The first paragraph should start out “Keeping Records Is Very Important Because . . .” (Write on board.)
: (If available, or have student look up mineral as you talk for an oral and visual association.)
(1) FLUORIDE—fluoride in toothpaste
(2) TALC—talcum powder
(3) HALITE—table salt
(4) GRAPHITE—pencil lead
(7) GYPSUM—wallboard and HEMATITE—nails
(8) CHALCOPYRITE—copper wire
Ask the class if there are any other ways we use rocks every day and see what they can add.
Put out any one of several of the books mentioned in children and teachers’ bibliography, and let students look through them for a day or two. (Allow time for this, and use some incentive for them to finish, at least, two of these [or other] books.)
Before you start talking about ice tea crystals, etc., have your students look at a grain of table salt under hand microscope (5 x to 10 x g) to see that these little individual grains do actually have a particular shape (if they are not chipped or overly rubbed), you should see a perfect
If you wish, after viewing the grain of salt and identifying that ice tea, etc. is made up of individual crystals you may wish to now grow your own crystal. (A salt crystal would be good.) A good word to use is
at this point. It would also be good to rite this activity out on board so that children can copy it in their journals and encourage them to do this at home.
ACTIVITY: Growing a Salt Crystal. Needed:
2-1/2 cups table (or kosher) salt
1 cup water
12” of thread (cotton is good: do
wide mouthed glass jar, (peanut butter jar if handy)
cooking pan (1 qt.)
1) Combine salt and water in a (for use on fire). Stir to first see how much salt can be dissolved by stirring. When the water holds all the salt it can at room temperature (let sit for 6 hours) you now have a saturated solution.
(figure available in print form)
2) How heat the saturated solution. Do
boil. The remaining grains of salt will be absorbed into tho solution as it gets hotter (also continue to stir).
3) When all of salt is dissolved into the saturated solution, add more. Measure these amounts, You add tablespoon by tablespoon until the solution becomes thick, Now you have a super saturated solution.
4) Remove pan from stove to cool. About 5 minutes.
5) Tie one end of the thread around the middle of the pencil. Tape the other end of the thread to the bottom of the jar.
6) Carefully pour the super-saturated solution into the empty jar.
7) Tape a piece of paper towel over the top to keep out the dirt.
8) Put the jar where everyone can see it WITHOUT moving it.
A sunny window is not ideal, but a high shelf area is much better.
If in a couple of weeks, CHECK YOUR JAR EVERY DAY AND HAVE A STUDENT ASSIGNED TO KEEP A RECORD (which should be located near the jar), if nothing happens, add a few grains of salt to act as rejuvenating “seeds.”
Please refer to the books that are in the footnotes for this Second Journal Entry for further study and more depth. But if you do not have the time, I believe that you will have enough info to get a fun science project going. Remember you can always keep trying and learning from mistakes.
Another activity is to make shapes starting from the basic shape of the salt crystal which was a cube (cubic).
I have included the six basic crystal figures.
To have your students better understand how these single shapes (as they saw under the magnifying glass of the shape that makes up table salt); so do these shapes make up the under written gems or minerals of the six figures.
You (teacher) can enlarge these figures and use them as simple hanging decorations around the room.
You will do best using different colored construction paper for each figure.
Keep them up all year or re-do them for the various holidays to represent different facets of that particular holiday. E.i., at Christmas enlarge and run off the cubic figure and decorate it as Santa Claus. The idea is to make a permanent implantation in the student’s mind that the smallest particle (usually unseen) is the beginning of something unimagined. So LOOK DEEP—INVESTIGATE!!
DON’T FORGET YOUR FIELD TRIPS!