The History of Creation
Return to Chemistry Index
Therese Colby Montessori Elementary School
511 E. 127th
Lemont, IL 60459
The main objective is to give the child a general view of the universe, an
experience of the varied properties of matter and an understanding of the laws
which govern the universe.
Wax, spoon, gas burner, matches, ice, 2 pans, lid, water, sugar, chalk powder, 8
glasses, iron filings, sand, 2 plates, handkerchief, copper sulfate, test tubes
& stoppers, holder, nylon thread, glass, wood, perfume, stone, rubber ball,
putty, tin, lead, salt, 2 thermometers, oil, pure alcohol, mercury, cork, iron &
lead objects, hot plate, clay, vinegar, baking soda and an expansion ball &
Perform the following as you tell your own story of the creation of the earth:
1) Freezing. Put some ice and a thermometer in a glass. Do the same in
another glass, adding a large amount of salt. Observe that the cold of ice
is not the coldest; there are temperatures much, much colder.
2) The Formation of a Star. Pour some water in a glass until it is 3/4 full.
Add a few drops of oil then add, slowly, pouring near the rim of the glass, a
bit of alcohol. Compare the activity of the oil and alcohol to the
innumerable groups of stars that, like those drops, are spinning in space.
3) Solid, Liquid, Gas. Put three test tubes in a holder. Put a piece of
painted glass in one, some water in the second, leave the third as it is.
Observe that matter can assume three states: solid, liquid, gaseous.
4) Liquid, Viscous. Take two glasses with water in them; then add some sugar
to one until it thickens. Observe a substance is liquid when it is fluid and
viscous when it is thickened.
5) Passing From Solid to Gas. Put wax on a spoon and hold it over the flame
until it disappears. Observe that matter, when heated, passes from solid to
liquid to gas.
6) Passing From Gas to Liquid to Solid. Put ice in a pan on a hot plate; put a
lid over it. Collect drops of condensation and put them in a freezer. Melt
wax in a spoon and drop it in cold water. Observe that matter when cooled,
passes from gas to liquid to solid.
7) Compounds and Mixtures. Stir some sugar into a glass of water. Stir some
chalk powder into another glass of water. Observe that there are some
particles which are attracted to each other and stay joined and others which,
when joined, may be separated.
7a) Mix iron-filings and sand on a plate; then wrap a magnet in a handkerchief
and bring it near the plate. Observe that there are substances which, when
mixed, do not combine and can separated, called mixtures.
8) Crystallization. Put bits of copper sulphate and some water in a test tube.
Put the test tube over a flame, moving it until it forms a saturated
solution. While boiling, put in a tiny piece of copper sulphate tied to a
thread. Let the solution become cold; remove thread. Observe that some
matter, in passing from a fluid to a solid state, has the property of
9) Properties of Solids, Liquids and Gases. Observe the shapes of glass and
wood pieces. Pour water into the odd shaped glasses - in one until it
overflows. Leave a bottle of perfume open for a few minutes. Observe that
solids have a shape of their own, liquids take the shape of their container
and gases have no shape.
10) Elastic, Plastic, Rigid. Apply pressure with a hand to a marble, a rubber
ball and putty. Use terms: rigid, elastic, plastic. Observe the properties
11) Matters Change Their State at Different Temperatures. Put wax, tin, lead
and iron bits on a tin plate over a flame. Leave an ice piece in a glass on
the table. Observe matter changing, each at its own temperature.
12) Gravity. Pour mercury into a test tube with water and oil (tube should be
filled). Put stopper in tube and turn upside down. Note that the earth
attracts matter like a big magnet. The lighter bodies remain more distant
from the center of the earth.
12a) Put cork and celluloid objects in a glass, cover with sand and put the iron
and lead objects on the surface. Cover with a towel and shake hard. Observe
heavy objects tend toward bottom and lighter ones tend to remain near top.
13) The Rapidity of Cooling Depends on the Mass of the Body. Put about a half
liter of water into pan and put it on a hot plate. When the water boils, use
it to fill large and small bowls. Let the bowls cool and dip your fingers
into them at the same time. Smaller masses cool before larger masses.
14) Volcano. Make a model volcano with moist clay. Add vinegar and baking soda
to simulate an eruption. Inside the earth there are some substances which
tend to come out. If they do not find their way, they create a way.
15) Matter Expands When Heated. Take an expansion ball and it pass through a
ring. Heat the ball and again try to pass it through the ring. Fill a flask
with water and put a stopper in lightly. Put it over a flame. Observe that
all matter expands when heated.
16) Evaporation. Put an iron plate over a flame until it becomes red hot, then
pour a few drops of water on it. Observe that all matter, when heated, passes
from solid to liquid, then from liquid to gaseous.
At this point the introductory lesson is complete. The children will be exposed
to everyday experiences that took place in the creation of the earth while the
teacher attaches the scientific terms and explanations to these phenomena.
This survey of experiments and synopsis of the history of the earth are taken
from the methods of Dr. Maria Montessori for approaching the study of history.