Crystals Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping teachers instruct elementary students on crystals. Students will explain how crystals are formed and classify crystals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on crystals, students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer questions about crystal formation.
  • Summarize the classification system for crystals.
  • Define content-related vocabulary.

Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

Vocabulary

  • atoms
  • classifying
  • crystals
  • crystallization
  • cubic crystals
  • evaporation
  • formation
  • gems
  • halite
  • hexagonal crystals
  • microscope
  • minerals
  • molten lava
  • monoclinic crystals
  • orthorhombic crystals
  • pattern
  • tetragonal crystals
  • three-dimensional
  • triclinic crystals
  • trigonal crystals

Materials

  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Pictures of various types of crystals
  • Microscope
  • Chalk
  • Salt
  • Sand
  • Pencil Lead
  • Sugar
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Jars
  • Boiling water
  • Oven mitts
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • String
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Borax
  • Measuring spoons

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students prior to reading the lesson.

Read Crystals Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts as a class, and discuss the following questions:

    • What are crystals?
    • What are some everyday items that are crystals?
    • What are crystals made of?
    • What is halite?
    • How are crystals classified?
    • What causes crystallization?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.

Activities

Crystal Centers

Materials needed: copies of lesson, pictures of various types of crystals, microscopes, chalk, salt, sand, pencil lead, sugar, paper, pencils

  • Add the following science centers for students to rotate through during center time:

Classification Center:

    • Place pictures of various types of crystals in this center.
    • Have students sort crystal pictures according to shape.
    • Have students sketch crystals and label them according to their classification.

Microscope Observation:

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