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STUDYING AND MAKING CRYSTALLINE SHAPES

Crystals are fun! Many people think that crystals have magical powers. Most people think that crystal is a kind of glass material used for vases and other fancy items. Some people think that crystals are rocks that fracture in such a way as to make shapes that have straight sides.

We have some crystals on a tray, that we can share. Be careful with them, because they can break. Pick them up and feel their shapes, turn them over and around so you can see and feel all the lines of their shapes.

We can make crystalline shapes with paper so as to understand them more clearly. Paper can be cut, folded, and glued (or taped), to reproduce the shapes that nature gave crystals. See how many different shapes you can find in the real crystals, and then make with paper. Be sure to count the flat surfaces, the sharp corners, and the jagged edges that some may have.

Crystals are mineral rocks that are usually almost pure, having a crystalline structure. Some kinds of crystals are quartz, gypsum, halite (which is salt), diamonds, rubies,
and many more. To be a crystal, the rock has to have a regular polyhedral (say "polly-HEED-rull," which means "having many sides") form, with flat surfaces and sharp
corners.

If your mom has a diamond ring, you could look at it and say, "Wow! that's a pretty crystal!" She would probably laugh, and say, "That isn't a crystal; that is a diamond." Then you can explain to Mom that diamond is a kind of crystal, and she will be surprised to learn that!

 
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