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Montessori's History of Creation Physics Experiments Part One

Starting in September you need to begin the Montessori physics experiments with elementary children, also called the History of Creation Experiments. (In preschool, you would begin the school year with the science experiments.) "The Physics Experiments are experiments relating to matter from which the child can abstract the makings of our earth, solar systems and galaxies in general."

Later on, you will go on to present the history of creation, also called the "Cosmic Tale: God Who Has No Hands" (followed by the Time line of Life, which illustrates the growth of life from the protozoan to the arrival of man, and of course it stimulates the simultaneous study of plants and animals and their needs).

The physics experiments are key, concrete, sensorial experiences for this tale. They also go hand-in-hand with the Impressionistic Geography Charts, which familiarize the child with the physical properties of our planet: one set is called "The Formation of the Earth and Insulation" and the other is called "The Work of Air and Water."

Below are the first seven experiments (out of twenty), from my Montessori 6-9 training album (and from which above was a partial excerpt).

Physics Experiments Part One 1-7

Each experiment is written on an index card and numbered for child to choose and repeat, with an adult if necessary. A notebook should be kept by the child for writing down her observations.

1. Subject: Cold - Freezing.

Materials: Some ice, 1 lb. of salt, two receptacles with the capacity of 1 pt., two thermometers.

Command: In a receptacle put some small bits of ice and then put in a thermometer. Do the same in another receptacle adding a large amount of salt; put in another thermometer. After a while compare the
temperature of the two thermometers.

What do you observe? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: The cold of the ice is not the coldest; there are temperatures much, much colder, that it is much lower.

2. Subject: The formation of the star.

Materials: oil, alcohol (better pure alcohol), water in a little jug, a glass.

Command: pour same water in the glass until it is 3/4 full. Add a few drops of olive oil (or another more dense type of oil) then add slowly, pouring near the rim of the glass, a bit of alcohol.

What happens? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: The innumerable groups of star are something like those drops, and are spinning in the space.

3. Subject: solid, liquid, gas.

Materials: A little piece of painted glass, some water in a small jug, three test tubes, a glass tube holder, three slips of paper.

Command: Put the three test tubes in the holder. Put the little piece of painted glass in one of them, some water in the second, leave the third as it is. Apply the names: solid - liquid - gas.

Statement: Matter can assume three states: solid, liquid, gaseous.

4. Subject: Liquid - viscous.

Materials: Sugar, some water in a little jug, two glasses, a little spoon.

Command: Take the two glasses and pour some water in them; then add sugar to one of the glasses until the water thickens into a semi-liquid.

Apply the two terms: liquid, viscous.

What have you observed? If you want, write down your observations.

Statement: A substance is liquid when it is fluid. A substance is viscous when it is thickened.

5. Subject: Passing from solid to liquid and to gas. To be done with an adult.

Materials: a piece of wax candle, a spoon, a spirit lamp or a gas burner, some matches.

Command: Take the match and light the spirit lamp or the gas burner. Put the piece of wax-candle on the spoon and hold it over the flame. Keep the spoon on the flame until there isn't anything,.

What did you observe? If you want you can write down your remarks.

Statement: Matter when heated passes from solid to liquid and then to gaseous.

6. Subject: Passing from gaseous to liquid and to solid.

Materials: a piece of ice, a pan and a lid, a spoon, some wax, a fire and some matches.

a. Put the piece of ice in the pan, and put it on the fire; as soon as the water boils put the lid on it. Observe what happens. You can collect some drops and put them into the freezer.

b. Melt some wax in a spoon, them drop it in a receptacle containing some cold water.

Observe what happens and if you want, you can write down your remarks.

Statement: Matter when cooled passes from the gaseous or vaporous state to the liquid state and from liquid to the solid state

7. Subject: Particles which love each other and particles which do not love each other.

Materials: Some water in a little jug, sugar, some chalk powder, two glasses.

Command: Put some water in a glass, pour in some sugar, stir it with a teaspoon. Take a glass, pour some water and some chalk powder in it; stir it energetically with the teaspoon.

What do you observe immediately? What do you observe a little later? If you like write down your observations.

Statement: There are some particle which love each other and they stay joined; there are others which do not love each other very much and when joined may be separated.


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You may also be interested in my recommended Montessori and homeschool books for parents and teachers on or my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth.

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