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Title: Coal Flowers
Level: Primary - Intermediate ( K - 5 )
Time: 20 - 30 minutes for initial activity - then several hours for crystal formation
KERA Goals: 1.3, 1.5 - 1.9, 2.3, 2.10

Objective: Student will observe the effect of certain chemicals on coal for crystal formation.


Shallow glass bowl
Twigs or toothpicks
Laundry blueing
Food coloring


1. In a shallow glass dish place several small lumps of coal.

2. Interwork twigs and/or toothpicks with coal. You may need to use glue to hold the twigs and/or toothpicks to the coal.

3. In a separate bowl mix:

6T salt
6T laundry blueing
6T water
6T ammonia

4. Pour the mixture over the coal mound.

5. Sprinkle dots of food coloring randomly over the mound.

6. Crystals will begin to form within several hours.

TIP: If your grocery store does not carry laundry blueing, check with the local pharmacist.

Provided by American Coal Foundation

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