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A Closer Look at Crystals

Source Institutions

    American Chemical Society

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A Closer Look at Crystals

In this activity, learners compare different types of salt crystals under a magnifying glass. Learners compare the size, shape, and color of table salt, Epsom salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and kosher salt. Learners discover that different crystals are made up of different repeating shapes in different patterns. Use this activity to talk about the various crystal structures of different materials.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Salt
  • Epsom salt
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Black construction paper
  • Masking tape
  • Pen
  • Magnifier


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Mineral and Mining Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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