Posted by : Karen Sunday, April 01, 2012
This Wonder Workshop took place over a month ago, but it's taken me a while to post about it! We started By talking about what we'd learnt at the last Wonder Workshop, and what we'd like to perhaps one day invent. We spoke a little about what Life was like before electricity (having watched Downton Abbey (season 1 for this illustration) and Cranforda few months ago, it was fresh in my mind! If you are a period drama kind of person, or someone who likes Gaskell I can most strongly recommend these series!), and then I asked them what they knew about candles.
Another great use of candles is the ability to write secret messages, and I'd prepared little clues on pieces of paper as to what the day would hold. Each child had to try and figure out what word was on their paper, and then try to arrange the words by working together into a sentence.
Trying to decode the messages using sunlight...
using a flame to bring out the wax (much better then sunlight but SUPERVISE closely :))
We did this twice - they said : "Today we will make rock geodes",
and "Today we will make sugar crystals".
So we set to work on the geodes. This WW required the crystals to grow at home over a few days, so a great lesson in patience!
We mixed a glass of alum powder solution and a glass of Epsom salt solution. I chose two different substances because in my prep I had managed to grow two compeltely different types of crstals, and hoped the kids would be able to see that. (A note here - I'm so thankful I'm taking the time to prep, because often what I see on Pinterest or other websites just does not seem to work at all :(. I highly recommend it if you can find the time!)
I had been inspired by a Pin on Pinterest, which let me add at the outset has been mighty deceiving. In my prep for WW, I used some Alum powder from the chemist which produced a pleasing geode (with interesting angular crystals), though nothing like the one Martha Stewart made! But as I needed greater qunatities, I bought a bag of alum powder from the pool section of my local Pick N Pay - well the results after a few days were very disappointing. I've since tried to buy the powder I used originally, and am now waiting for them to order it in.
Once those were ready and beginning to grow, we set to work on making sugar crystals, again inspired by this tutorial I'd seen pinned. (Note: it uses LOADS of sugar!)
Well, thankfully they were more of a success, and one mom told me how her children had used them to stir their tea resulting in different shades of coloured tea!
Then to tie what we'd learnt about crystals into understanding the rock cycle, we made this delicious fudge. Shannon Watson has created this incredible lesson plan naming the ingredients that go into the fudge different parts of the rock cycle, as well as illustrating the different processes. The kids responded to it well, and I think we could have done a whole Wonder Workshop on this edible rock cycle lesson alone!