Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chemistry For Kids

In science class this year we'll be studying chemistry. Quite an intimidating subject to try to teach, in my opinion. Luckily I've found some great books and resources, and I've determined exactly what I want to cover at this early age. I'm taking a pretty organic approach to this subject; I don't really have lesson plans at this time. I'm just going to start exploring the books we've chosen with my son, and add in activities and experiments when they seem appropriate.

Here are the books we'll be using:

At first glance, I thought Basher Science: Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction would be too childish and simplistic for our use.  I was completely unfamiliar with the Basher Science series, but luckily I took the time to check this book out of the library and look through it.  I immediately realized it would be a wonderful resource for us, and I ordered a copy from Amazon.com.  (Click on the image or the link to check it out.)
I also used Amazon's "Look Inside the Book" function to peek at this one:

I'm very excited about using it, and so is my son.  He's a huge fan of trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, and this book presents each element as it's own trading card character, with attributes and characteristics.  I think this will be an excellent way for Hunter to commit a lot of this information to memory; it's right up his alley! (Again, click on the image to take a look inside for yourself.)

DK Eyewitness Books: Chemistry has a ton of great information, and fantastic photos and illustrations of just about everything Hunter might get curious about.  I'm sure we'll be using this daily as a reference. 

Rader's CHEM4KIDS (http://www.chem4kids.com/index.html) is a great website for all young chemistry students; the information is clear and divided up into concise categories with quizzes.  If you're teaching chemistry and unsure about where to start or how to proceed, I recommend starting here. 

Most of our experiments this year will be done with everyday household substances, but we did order a few products for fun:

We have already used some of our Be Amazing Jiggly Jewels, and they were awesome!  I saved most of them, and plan to have Hunter take notes the next time we use them.  I want him to note the time, describe how the jewels feel before we put them in the water, what they look like, etc.  I'll then have him check on the jewels periodically and repeat this process for his science notebook.
We also bought Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Test Tube Wonders, which we haven't opened yet.  I'm hoping we'll be as happy with it as we were with the Jiggly Jewels.  I'm unsure how educational this product will actually turn out to be, and how exactly I'll tie it in to our chemistry lessons, but I'm certain my son will enjoy it. 

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