Mixtures, Suspensions, and Solutions

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

A mixture  is a combination of two or more things that keep their own properties.

A solution is a mixture that stays mixed because its particles are as small as atoms or molecules, such as sugar and water

A suspension is a mixture in which the particles settle and separate into layers over time, such as oil and vinegar.

We're wrapping up our studies of mixtures at the upper elementary level. Here was our 5th grade lesson plan. There are links to experiments and other resources.

5th Grade Lesson Plan

1. Read Lesson 4 Mixtures (California Science Text from MHSchool) - record/define vocabulary words as you/we read

2. Activity: After reading "To Settle or Not to Settle" make a solution and a suspension (We did this as a spur of the moment activity.)

Materials: Glass or plastic jars/containers.

Make a solution (mix a tablespoon of  sugar and a glass of water, or use salt and water).  Keep this for later in the lesson.

Make a suspension (with oil and vinegar). Draw a picture of the result. Why does the vinegar separate to the bottom? Keep this for later in the lesson. (you might want to add food coloring to the vinegar before you mix them so the contrast of layers shows up even more). Also, try mixing 3 or more liquids with different densities.

3. After reading "Reaching a Limit," add more sugar (or salt) to your solution past the point of solubility (so that sugar no longer dissolves.) Draw a picture of the results. Label the solvent and the solute in your picture. Then, heat up the solution and record/draw the results.  You might also cool the solution down again and see what the results are.

4. We also did another activity with oil and vinegar: Lava Lamp with Baking Soda

(Science water???) lol

Now, that's all we had time for today (well, we also our "Kids First Chemistry Set" to try to make salt crystals, so we didn't get to separating mixtures on the first day.

5. Read "Separating Mixtures, " record vocabulary
6. Watch "Separating Mixtures" presentation
7. Do "Separating Mixtures" virtual lab; McGraw Hill Separating Mixtures Virtual LabElements, Compounds, Mixtures Virtual Lab (My son LOVED the separating mixtures labs...I couldn't find enough for him)
8. Do a real life "Separating Mixtures" lab  (another one: How to Separate Mixtures)
8. Do some separating mixtures worksheets: (use google to search)