In this activity, students investigate crystal shapes and crystal systems. Traditional ceramics are clay-based – clays have a mineral composition and minerals have a crystalline structure.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe the main points of difference between a crystalline solid and an amorphous solid
  • recognise and identify at least 3 of the 7 crystal systems
  • use models to point out the angular and side length differences that characterise the cubic, triclinic and rhombohedral crystal systems
  • effectively use optical aids such as hand lenses and simple microscopes to view crystalline solids.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • student worksheet.
    Published 27 April 2010