A ‘rock’ing good time!


Our Geography focus this year is on Geology, and Little Einstein is in his element! As an avid collector of rocks, he could not have asked for a better curriculum.

Last week we looked at rock and mineral hardness, did some scratch tests and studied Moh’s Scale of Hardness.

Here is a blank Moh’s Scale and a completed Moh’s Scale2 with data filled in.

The main topic of our lessons this week was crystals – what fun!

We constructed a set of crystal shapes – courtesy of  Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop. She has loads of free downloads right across the curriculum and her site is well worth a visit. Find the crystal templates here.

And we started growing some coloured crystals of our own…

To make crystals, simply dissolve sugar or salt in hot water until no more will dissolve. Let the solution cool, and then wrap some string around a pencil, rest it across the top of the jar and suspend the string into the solution in the jar with a paperclip tied to the end. Add some food colouring for coloured crystals. Sugar crystals can take several weeks to grow. For fast crystals, use Epsom salts, but be sure to wear gloves and goggles if working with Epsom salts. You may want to make three jars  – sugar, salt and Epsom salts. Use different colours and note the differences in the crystals.