Science in Waldorf education is based largely on the influence of Gothe. A modern continuation of this work, The Nature Institute, states as part of its philosophy, “”man is but the servant and interpreter of nature: what he knows and what he does is only what he has observed of nature’s order in fact or in thought; beyond this he knows nothing and can do nothing.” Thus, as in all of our science blocks (starting with nature walks in preschool and landing where we are now) we will focus on experience and DOING rather than reading and writing a lot of formulas. As always, this lesson block contains all the basics your student needs. However, you are welcome to expand on the experiments if your student wants to do more with the lessons.
This introduction to chemistry for the seventh grader will explore on a deeper physical level what we have already explored in World Geography – the physical world as a whole. In this block we will give the student an overview of the “material qualities of the world” as a whole by exploring some of the basic elements that make up our world – acids, bases, salts, crystals, and the elements of the basic periodic table. As you have read in other lesson block introductions – the seventh grader is in a state of blossoming as an individual and much of what we explore in this grade will compliment that process. Studying people who share their current process during the time of the Renaissance, interviewing different people and creating poetry are just some ways we have already or will help the seventh grader through this process.
The study of the basics of Chemistry will help the seventh grader explore the physical world in a deeper way, just as they are exploring their own physical bodies (through physiology and new challenges) and their mental and spiritual bodies in new ways. Just as important as assisting each student in discovering their unique qualities and individuality is also the process of showing them how all life is inter-linked. As much as they are individuals they also remain part of the entire earth and everything and everyone in it. Seeing how we are all made up of the same elements that everything else is made of helps bring that concept “home” for the seventh grader.