Lesson Plan #:AELP-SPS0008
An AskERIC Lesson Plan
Author: Jan Noyes
School or Affiliation: Westwood Elementary, Enumclaw, WA.
Endorced by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of
the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center's Summer Workshop.
CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving
the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly
the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as
the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating
teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have
met at the Workshops.
Date: May 1994
Predicting, observing, and drawing conclusions are key elements in the
scientific process. This activity is designed to foster utilization of
these skills while performing a hands-on experiment.
Grade Level: Appropriate for grades 1-4.
Students will be able :
Predict what will happen when the two given solutions are combined.
Record or discuss observations during the experiment.
Explain properties of slime the likenesses and differences between it and
gelatin, (ie. Jello).
List or discuss conclusions based on observations.
polyvinyl alcohol (contact local high school lab)
paper cups of two different prints or colors
large coffee can in which to heat solution
large spoon to stir
tongue depressors to stir mixed solutions
1000 ml beaker
Activities and Procedures
Teacher prepares two solutions, (prepare early in the morning for afternoon
use), following the directions below:
40 grams polyvinyl alcohol in 1000 ml water. Heat the water until just
too hot too touch, then gradually sprinkle the polyvinyl alcohol powder
into the water while stirring continuously. Continue heating and stirring
until the solution is clear and then for two more hours.
8 grams of borax dissolved in 200 ml of water.
In a graduated cylinder, measure 40 ml of polyvinyl alcohol; dilute with
10 ml of water to give a total of 50 ml. Pour the polyvinyl alcohol/water
mixture into a paper cup and stir thoroughly.
Add one drop of your favorite color of food coloring to each cup of the
above mixture and stir.
In a small graduated cylinder, combine 5 ml of borax solution with 5 ml
of water and mix thoroughly. Pour into a different paper cup.
Have students predict in writing what will happen when these two solutions
After giving each pair of students a cup of the polyvinyl alcohol solution
and a cup of the borax solution, have one student stir the polyvinyl alcohol
solution continuously and vigorously while the other student adds the borax
solution. The mixture will thicken, but continue to stir until the slime
Have students record their observations on paper.
Remove slime from the paper cup and observe its properties, (does it stretch,
bounce, etc.?). Record observations after each experiment.
Have students draw conclusions regarding gelation and properties they have
observed in the slime and record.
Tying it all Together:
Gather class together and list predictions, observations, and conclusions
of each student pair on the board. Discuss data.
Placing students back in pairs, have them decide how slime is alike and
different from gelatin, (ie. Jello), Using a T-chart. Students may use
available resources in classroom to assist them with their task. Collect
Gather class together the next day to discuss their findings.
This activity has been copied, with permission, from the
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to
allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the
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