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Montessori's History of Creation Physics Experiments

Montessori's History of Creation Physics Experiments Part One

Montessori's History of Creation Physics Experiments

Part one: Starting in September (typically) 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 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 Timeline 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 the 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., and 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, and a glass.

Command: pour some water into 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 stars are something like those drops, and are spinning in 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, and 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, and leave the third as it is. Apply the names: solid - liquid - gas.

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

4. Subject: Liquid - viscous.

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

Command: Take the two glasses and pour some water into 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, and some matches.

Command: Take the match and light the spirit lamp or the gas burner. Put the piece of the 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.

Command:
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 in the freezer.

b. Melt some wax in a spoon, then 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 that love each other and particles that do not love each other.

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

Command: Put some water in a glass, pour in some sugar, and 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 particles that love each other and they stay joined; there are others that do not love each other very much and when joined may be separated.

Part two: Montessori physics experiments, also called the History of Creation Experiments: "experiments relating to matter from which the child can abstract the makings of our earth, solar systems, and galaxies in general."

The physics experiments are key, concrete, sensorial experiences for the "Cosmic Tale: God Who Has No Hands" 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 next seven experiments (out of twenty), from my Montessori 6-9 training album (from which above was a partial excerpt).

Physics Experiments Part two 8-14
Each experiment is written on an index card and numbered for the child to choose and repeat, with an adult if necessary. A notebook should be kept by the child for writing down her observations.

8. Subject: Mixture

Materials: some iron filings, some sand, a plate, a magnet, and a handkerchief.

Command: Take the iron filings and the sand, and mix them on a plate. Then wrap a magnet in the handkerchief and bring it near the plate.

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

Statement:. There are certain substances we mix but do not combine and therefore can be separated: these are called: mixtures.

9. Subject: Chemical combination of GAS.

Materials: Ammonia, hydrochloric acid, a glass, a plate.

Command: Moisten the bottom of a glass with a drop of ammonia, and turn over the glass on a plate that is wet with hydrochloric acid.

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

Statement: A new gas has formed called ammonia chloride, due to the combination of ammonia and hydrochloric acid.

10. Subject: Crystallization.

Materials: A little bit of copper sulfate water in a little jug, a test tube, a spirit lamp or a gas burner, a silk or nylon thread, and some matches.

Command: In the test tube put some little bits of copper sulfate and some water. Light the fire. Put the test tube on the fire moving it until it forms a saturated solution. While it is still boiling, put in a tiny piece
of copper sulfate tied to a thread. Let the solution get cold until the next day, and take out what you have put in.

What has happened? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: Some matter in passing from the fluid to the solid state has the property of crystallizing itself.

11. Subject: Chemical reaction.

Materials: Sugar, gloves, sulfuric acid (be very careful with the sulfuric acid, it burns everything, even the skin!), a glass.

Command: Put some sugar in a glass until it is 3/4 full. Pour enough sulfuric acid so that it reaches about half the height of the sugar. Stir with a glass rod. The mixture must become black. Be very careful
with sulfuric acid, it burns everything, even the skin! Be careful also in holding the glass.

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

Statement: A chemical reaction has taken place; a near substance has been formed which did not exist before: it is carbon.

12. Subject: Precipitation.

Materials: Potassium bichromate, lead nitrate, water in a little jug, a test tube, and a little spoon.

Command: Take the test tube, and pour in it a pinch of potassium bichromate and a little water. Stir it until it dissolves; then add some drops of lead nitrate.

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

Statement: There are certain liquid substances that combine with others to form a near substance and they are called: precipitation.

13. Subject: Properties of solids, liquids, and gas.

Materials: A little piece of glass, a little piece of wood, some receptacles of glass in different shapes, a small bottle of ammonia, and some water in a small jug.

Command:

a. Take the piece of glass, and the piece of wood and observe their form.

b. Take the receptacles of different shapes, and pour some water into them. Go on pouring some water in one of them until it overflows.

c. Open the bottle of ammonia and leave it open for a moment.

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

Statement: The solids have a shape of their own; the liquids take the shape of the vessel that contains them, and when overflowing they go in all directions except upwards. The gases have no shape, they have
the tendency to occupy the maximum space and they expand in all directions even upwards.

14. Subject: Elastic, plastic, rigid.

Materials: A piece of marble, stone, brick, a rubber ball, and some plasticine.

Command: Take the piece of marble, the rubber ball, and the plasticine. Using the hand apply some pressure on each of them successively. Apply the terms: plastic, rigid, and elastic.

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

Statement: Matter, which when put under normal pressure does not change its form, is called "rigid." Matter, which when put under normal pressure changes form, but once the pressure is taken away, takes back its original form, is called "elastic." Matter, which when put under normal pressure changes its form and once the pressure is taken away, does not take back its original form, is called "plastic."

~Lisa Nolan

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