Silver Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Alexandra Owens

Alexandra has taught middle school science and has a master's degree in Math and Science Education.

Silver is often viewed as second place behind gold, but silver is a very important element that we use in our daily lives. In this lesson, learn more about the properties of silver, where it can be found, and what it is used for.

What Is Silver?

Did you look in a mirror this morning to brush your teeth or do your hair? Then you can thank silver for giving you such a great reflection! Silver is used to make mirrors because it is the best known reflector of visible light. A reflector is an object that can bounce back light or sound without absorbing it.

Silver is also an element found on the periodic table. It has the atomic number of 47 and the symbol Ag. Those letters may seem strange, but they are for the Latin word argentum, which means 'silver.' Let's learn more about silver!

Silver is used in mirrors to allow you to see a reflection.
mirror

What Does Silver Look Like?

Silver is a solid a room temperature. It is a shiny, soft, gray metal that is the best conductor of all the metals. A conductor is a material that allows heat and electricity to flow through it. You will see how this comes in handy when we discuss what silver is used for. One frustrating thing about silver is that it reacts slowly with air over time. This makes objects made out of silver tarnish, or form a black coating on the surface. You may have seen this on silver jewelry or silverware.

Where Can Silver Be Found?

Silver has been around for a very, very long time. Some historians believe that people have been using silver for over 5,000 years! Ancient mines have been found in both Turkey and Greece. It is also thought to have been mined by ancient civilizations in Central and South America. If you have ever heard of a mine, then you have probably guessed where silver can be found: under the ground! Silver can be found alone or combined with other metals in material called ores.

What Is Silver Used For?

Silver is used for many things we use each and every day. Here are a few examples:

Sterling silver is used in jewelry and silverware like these.
silver

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