Laws of the Universe and The Story of Creation
The Laws of the Universe (LOU) experiments are a series of experiments that are designed to be appealing to children and introduce ideas about the "nature of things" to students.
In a "traditional" presentation the order might be:
-First Great Story
- LOU experiments
-Story of Creation (this is a modified First Great Story that is more science based and relates the LOU to what happened in the First Great Story)
Alternatively a teacher or guide might want to present them slightly before the First Great Story to introduce the ideas to children that the child might then be awakened to them in the hearing of the story.
The traditional LOU were made in a time before modern health and safety rules and before we have some of the materials we have available to us today that weren't available fifty or a hundred years ago.
I've made my own version of them which does not include one of the traditional LOU but does include the other 19 key principles.
This year we started these before the First Great Story and soon I will deliver a modified version of the "Story of Creation" where I will talk through the ideas in the LOU experiments.
I printed them off and put them in a clearfile which the students can choose from to work with when they want, periodically I introduce an experiment.
It is recommended that students record their observations but due to the developmental needs of my students we do this bit orally.
My set of experiments (which does include observation sheets for student to write on) includes:
1) Cold - Freezing
2) The Formation of the Star
3) Solid, Liquid, Gas
4) Liquid - Viscous
5) Solid to Liquid to Gas
6) Particles that come together and stay apart
8) Combination of Gas
10) Chemical Reaction
12) Properties of Solid, Liquid, and Gas
13) Elastic, Plastic, Rigid
14) Matter at Different Temperatures
15a) and 15b) Law of Gravity
16) Size and Cooling
18) Matter expands when heated
19) Quick Evaporation
I don't present them in order. I try to follow areas of interest. However there is nothing wrong with doing them in order if you wish! Some people suggest not introducing the science behind the experiment until you do the "Story of Creation" but if you are not doing the "Story of Creation" then you may want to modify how you do this. I like the "See, Think, Wonder" science questions which allow you to give ideas or hints about why a science experiment happened the way it did. I've included the "See, Think, Wonder" questions in my experiment set.
This one was a favourite! Matter expands!
Making a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.
Making layers with syrup, water and oil. This experiment introduces the idea of density.
When the children have had lots of time to explore the LOU you could use the "Story of Creation" to go over the science concepts.
I have a free PDF copy of the Story of Creation which goes with my laws of the Universe in my Montessori freebie library in the 6-12 section. I've included the first two pages below (the full document is 5 pages) .