I will be preparing to do seventh grade chemistry this month for the second time, so whilst I have some ideas about seventh and eighth grade chemistry, I may have things to add after going through it two more times (this February and then again in the future for our youngest).
First of all, the two resources I recommend whole-heartedly include:
For Eighth Grade only: What Einstein Told HIs Cook: Kitchen Science Explained
Seventh Grade Block:
First of all, do see my friend Tanya’s guest post from when she did seventh grade chemistry here. She was kind enough to share great detail.
Here is a list of what ended up in our seventh grade main lesson book for Chemistry. This includes some of the artistic work we did.
We did the same things that Tanya did, and started with combustion in week one. We did speech work with poems as well these first two weeks. The first day we talked about safety rules, and I did a presentation regarding combustion. We found materials we could burn, and figured out which ones burned well and which ones didn’t. We worked with igniting a fire with flint and steel, and using a magnesium fire starter and talked about the invention of matches and fire starting. We compared and constrasted the way solids, liquids, and gases burned and made a table regarding this. We then ended by burning powdered metals we had ordered from Homeschool Science Tools (iron, zinc, copper, magnesium fillings). We explored why a fire needs air to burn, and used a blow torch in conjunction with a colored flames and flame kit I already had tucked away.
In the second week, we experimented with a candle flame. We observed the greatest area of heat in a candle flame and drew pictures. We also did an experiment with Cool Light from a science kit that I thought fit in nicely. We then moved into the Water Cycle, and how water is a universal solvent. We also explored water as a catalyst. Part of our speech work for this week was Patrick Henry’s speech, which was a catalyst for the American Revolution. We made a list of crystals from table salt as part of one of our experiments, and did an experiment of crystallization of epsom salts. I also did a demonstration of a colorful silicate garden. Here is a blog entry about combustion and candles that has a little more detail. We ended with the limestone cycle.
During the third week of chemistry, we made borax crystals, and then we moved into exploring acids and bases. We worked with tasting acids and bases and made a list of their properties. We used indicators, including cabbage juice as an indicator, and we neutralized vinegar with milk of magnesia.
Eighth Grade Block: Organic Chemistry ( I consider physiology and covering the digestive system and the idea of what food does in the body and in a culture a prerequisiste before doing this block).
Ideas for Carbohydrates
What are our taste buds? What kinds of things can we taste?
Are all carbohydrates sweet? What is the role of a carbohydrate for living creatures? What is cellulose? What is glucose? What are the classes of carbohydrates?
Copy table page 9 Bojarksky’s book/ Look at “A Tight Squeeze” in “What Einstein Told His Cook” and do Demonstration #1 “A Comparison of the Solubility of Salt and Sugar”
Day 2- Write up demonstration from yesterday, look at “Two Kinds of Browning” in “What Einstein Told His Cook” and do Demonstration #2 “Melting and Burning Sugar”; make fudge and discuss the role of sugar crystalization and the role of sugar in fudge-making.
Read all of Chapter 1 in “What Einstein Told His Cook”
Day 3 – Student does Demonstration 6 – why does the potato bubble? Do Demonstration 8. Look at video of production of sugar from sugar cane mill. There are 11 operating sugar mills in Louisiana. Do Demonstrations 9 and 10. Make Fehling’s Solution and Test for Simple Sugars
Day 4- Prepare Potato Starch by Hand; do Iodine Test for Starch; Demonstration 20 Breakdown of Starch with Hydrochloric Acid and Breakdown of Starch with Saliva Method. Homework to write up breakdown of starch with saliva and hydrochloric acid. Munch on celery sticks – how do we digest celery?
Day 5- The Physics of Popcorn; Make Tapioca Pudding
Day 6 – Proteins -The Role of Proteins in the body, the role of enzymes as catalysts; read pages 124-129 in “What Einstein Told His Cook”; burn proteins outside (they smell bad!); Egg White Experiment
Day 7 – Write up summary of proteins; Heat Milk and look at Coagulation of Casein, A MIlk Protein, with vinegar
Day 8 -Make Bone Broth; read pages 143-156 in “What Einstein Told His Cook”; look at brining meat
Day 9 – Fats and Oils; fatty acids as part of larger family chemists call carboxylic acids. Difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Render fat, do the brown paper test for fats; read pages 68-70 in “What Einstein Told His Cook”
Day 10- Extract Lemon Oil from Lemon Peel; Experiment with Common Oil; Oil and Water; read pages 70-76 in “What Einstein Told His Cook”
Day 11 – Burning Oil meets water experiment; extinguish burning oil; read pages 78-82 of “What Einstein Told His Cook”
Day 12 – Make Mayonnaise; look at flax seeds and make in banana bread – why does it work as a substitute for eggs? Read pages 84-88 in “What Einstein Told HIs Cook”
Day 13- Make Ice Cream; Saturated vs. unsaturated fats
I decided not to go into cosmetics but that is another place some Waldorf School teachers spend a good deal of time. I chose more of the cooking route. Donna Simmons has good information about this approach, which I built on above, in her Christopherus Rough Guide to Eighth Grade.
Please see The Parenting Passageway Facebook Page for pictures of our seventh and eighth grade chemistry main lesson book pages.