Mixtures and Solutions in Comic Form

If you are looking for a unique way to teach mixtures and solutions, you have come to the right place. CLICK HERE TO JUMP RIGHT TO THE COMIC!

I spent the first half of my teaching career at a charter school for at-risk youth, My classroom was full of reluctant readers and students who had given up on school.

One year, as the state tests were approaching, I began creating one-page comics to serve as study guides.

To my surprise, EVERYONE loved them, and even my most disconnected learners were connecting with the content.

Since then, I have been striving to share this impactful learning tool with other educators. Comics work.

Check out my shop and try it today. Your students will thank you.

Cool School Comic Clip and Mixtures and Solutions

A few months back I received a request to create a comic about solutions, suspensions, and colloids. At the time, I was eager to utilize my animation skills and decided to make a series about mixtures and solutions building up to the more challenging topics.

As usual, one video turned into many because the information needed to be broken up into smaller, digestible videos.

That’s the thing with teaching. You have to make the information manageable to the learners. Simply throwing facts at students will not result in learning. Lessons like this need to be laid out with thought.

Here are some tips as to how to teach mixtures and solutions to your students.

Teaching Mixtures and Solutions

Science education is a captivating journey, especially when it comes to middle school students learning about mixtures and solutions. Mixtures and solutions form the building blocks of understanding matter and its interactions. By employing creative teaching methods and real-world applications, educators can kindle students’ curiosity and foster a deep appreciation for the world of substances and their behavior.

Laying the Foundation: What Are Mixtures and Solutions?

Begin by establishing a strong foundation. Explain the fundamental concepts of mixtures and solutions. A mixture is a combination of two or more substances that are not chemically bonded. Solutions, on the other hand, are a special type of mixture where one substance (the solute) dissolves uniformly in another substance (the solvent). Use relatable examples like sugar dissolving in water or air consisting of various gases.

Hands-on Exploration: Separation Techniques

Engage students with hands-on activities that demonstrate separation techniques. Create mini-labs for techniques like filtration, evaporation, and chromatography. For example, provide a mixture of sand and water and challenge students to separate the components using filtration. These activities not only illustrate scientific principles but also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Comics and Animations

As with all of my lessons in my science classroom, I like to tie in animations and comics. I find comics to be such a powerful learning tool, and they never cease to engage my learners.

For this particular lesson, I created a number of animations and even a video specifically geared toward differentiating between heterogeneous and homogeneous mixture

Mixtures are like a medley of substances that come together to create unique combinations. But did you know that mixtures can be further categorized into two types: homogeneous and heterogeneous? Let’s dive into the world of mixtures and explore the fascinating differences between these two varieties.

Homogeneous Mixtures: A Seamless Blend

Imagine sipping a perfectly mixed fruit punch. You can’t really pinpoint where one fruit flavor ends and the other begins. That’s the magic of a homogeneous mixture. Also known as a solution, homogeneous mixtures have uniform composition throughout. In other words, every part of the mixture looks and tastes the same as every other part.

Heterogeneous Mixtures: A Play of Diversity

Now, let’s imagine a scoop of ice cream with chocolate chips scattered unevenly. Each bite might have a slightly different taste. That’s the charm of a heterogeneous mixture. These mixtures lack uniformity and have distinguishable parts that don’t blend seamlessly.

Colloids: The Marvel of the Middle Ground

A colloid is like a bridge between homogeneous solutions and heterogeneous suspensions. In a colloid, tiny particles are dispersed within a medium, creating a mixture that appears uniform to the naked eye. But look closely, and you’ll see that it’s not quite as seamless as a solution.

Key Features of Colloids:

  1. Particle Size: The particles in a colloid are larger than individual molecules but smaller than the particles found in suspensions.
  2. Visible Scattering: When light passes through a colloid, it scatters, creating a phenomenon known as the Tyndall effect. This scattering is visible as a beam of light passing through the colloid.
  3. Long-lasting Stability: Colloids can remain stable for extended periods due to the repulsion between particles, preventing them from settling out.

Suspensions: The Dance of Settling Particles

Imagine a snow globe – when you shake it, the snowflakes flutter around before gradually settling at the bottom. Suspensions mimic this behavior with larger particles that are suspended temporarily in a liquid or gas medium but eventually settle due to gravity.

Key Features of Suspensions:

  1. Particle Size: Suspended particles are larger and more visible than those found in colloids or solutions.
  2. Visible Settling: Over time, suspended particles will settle at the bottom of the container due to gravity, leading to a clear distinction between the particles and the medium.
  3. Distinct Phases: Suspensions have distinct phases, with the solid particles clearly separated from the liquid or gas medium.

Examples of Colloids:

  1. Milk: The white appearance of milk is due to fat globules suspended in water. This mixture showcases the characteristics of a colloid.
  2. Whipped Cream: The tiny air bubbles dispersed in the liquid cream create a colloid that gives whipped cream its unique texture.
  3. Ink: Colloidal particles in ink disperse throughout the liquid, allowing it to be smoothly applied while retaining its color.

Examples of Suspensions:

  1. Orange Juice with Pulp: The pulp in orange juice is a suspension – the solid pulp particles eventually settle at the bottom.
  2. Muddy Water: Water with suspended particles of mud or sand creates a temporary mixture that will eventually settle.
  3. Dust in Air: Particles of dust or pollen suspended in the air represent a suspension in a gas medium.
  4. Snow Globe: The “snow” remains suspended when the globe is shaken, but eventually settle.

Unmixing the Info

Teaching mixtures and solutions in middle school science is an exciting opportunity to spark curiosity and lay a solid foundation for understanding matter’s behavior. By blending hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, real-world applications, and cross-curricular connections, educators can inspire a new generation of scientists who appreciate the intricacies of substances and their interactions.

The Comic

The Mixtures and Solutions comic is available on Teachers Pay Teachers and this website. You can also find the Heterogenous and Homogenous Mixtures comic on TPT

The Video

The YouTube video linked above is part of my growing collection of science videos on the Cool School Comic Clip channel.

My ultimate goal is to provide educators and learners with resources to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.

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