Investigating Mixtures, Solutions, Elements, and Compounds

Terri Crowe, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY
School Library Journal
April 1, 2010

Investigating Mixtures, Solutions, Elements and Compounds. video or DVD. 14 min. with tchr's. guide. Visual Learning Co.  2009. video: ISBN 978-1-5923-4440-6, DVD: ISBN 978-1-5923-4439-0. $79.95.

Gr 3–5—This program makes the basic concepts of beginning chemistry accessible to young students by simplifying and organizing the information. It effectively uses real-life examples, clear explanations, and interactive components to provide a solid foundation. The production begins with the image of salt being stirred into a beaker of water and ends with one of hard candies being stirred together. The body of the film features a plethora of real-life examples, including a gold ring to represent the element gold and Jell-o to signify a colloidal mixture. Explanations of each of the titular subjects are well-paced, allowing students adequate time to listen to and absorb what is being presented. For example, the concise definition of "element" is followed by the real-life examples of silver jewelry and copper pipes. Students are then challenged when the narrator says, "You Decide," and asks viewers to figure out what element is found in a gold ring. This pattern of concept/real-life example/interactive questions is successfully repeated throughout. An excellent production.—Terri Crowe, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY (4/1/2010 SLJ Website)