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Case-lesson "Make presents ourselves"

Category: Soft Skills

Level (grade): 9-11

Subject: 100 skills

Objective: Acquire useful practical skills and techniques for making gifts and everything else; find practical implementation of the obtained theoretical information.

What information is waiting for me here?
  • How to make an unusual gift by yourself?
  • How to make hand gum by yourself?
  • Is it possible to paint the flowers?
  • What fundamental and practical knowledge will be useful for me?
  • Why doesn't the multicolored wax of a carved candle mix?
  • What gift will make even a cat happy?
6 scans of the subjects, phenomena and practices:

What to give? How to combine utility and beauty in one gift in order to demonstrate that a person is dear to you? What kind of gift will be a present with a soul and with a twist?

You can simply give sweets to a sweet tooth or you can make a gift in which the package itself will be “wow”.

Hand-made things feed the markets, hand-made ideas become breakthrough startups, hand-made becomes the basis of chic fashion brands. No wonder the same hand-made machine and handmade dresses have become indicators of the status of the owner.

Therefore, to apply hand-made for gifts is a creative and modern idea.


Carved, multi-colored candles are real piece of art. However, with some skills and accuracy such a candle can be made independently.

Master classes for the manufacture of such candles set.

Necessary materials:

• several containers with melted wax of different colors.

• water (cold) for washing and cooling layers.

• clean clothes or fibers for drying the cooled layer before further processing.

• paper cutter or knife.

Why do not multicolored layers of wax or paraffin mix? Recall how the process goes: each subsequent layer was cooled dropping into the water. At the same time a small layer of water remains of the candle. So, the wax (and paraffin) does not mix with water! This insignificant, on our opinion, imperceptible, residual layer of water becomes isolated between the multi-colored layers.

Due to the allotment of the so-called latent heat when a substance passes from a liquid to a solid state the wax freezing temperature is slightly below its melting point and is 58–63 ° C. Talking about other properties of wax, viscosity has great practical importance. The viscosity of the wax is especially high at temperatures close to the pour point. When the temperature raises to 100 ° C the viscosity of the wax decreases 2-2.5 times. Therefore, the physicochemical properties do not allow the wax to dissolve in water and alcohol but it dissolves perfectly in gasoline or petroleum ether. The wax mixes wonderfully with fats, oils, paraffin and does not mix with glycerin.

What is viscosity?

This is one of the phenomena of transfer. The property of fluid bodies (liquids and gases) is the ability to resist the movement of one part relative to another. As a result the work expended on this movement is dissipated in the form of heat.

In this case, the viscosity explains the fluidity and fragility of wax:

How else the ability of the wax not to mix with water is used? In the food industry and in everyday life check the quality of honey! The more wax remains in honey, the slower it dissolves in water and the more sediment, containing wax, is formed.



Check the quality of honey at home using the information above. Make a small report on the results. You can use the cheat sheet:

1. Statement of the problem ("Check the quality of honey").

2. Required materials (describe what you used, only in a clear list format).

3. Research methodology (a brief description of what was mixed or divided, merged, etc. and for what).

4. The result (one final phrase describing the quality of honey according to the results of your experiment).


Non-Newtonian fluid is an unusual fluid that sometimes behaves like a solid body. So, ordinary liquid can flow. And non-Newtonian fluid also can. On the other hand, ordinary liquid cannot be solid, bounce and non-Newtonian can. The reason for this duality is that these liquids most often are created from large polymer molecules the linkage between them is not very large, and these molecules can freely slide relative to each other.

Both children and adults love to play such an almost non-Newtonian liquid – handgum (chewing gum for hands). You can make it yourself. The basis of the manufacture will be borax - sodium tetraborate:

A solution of borax in glycerin can be purchased at the pharmacy as this is one of the common antiseptic agents.

In addition, you need PVA glue. The mixing proportions depend on the quality of the ingredients, and therefore vary from recipe to recipe. Most often the ratio of "glue / tetraborate" is from 1: 1 to 1: 4.

Necessary materials:

• borax solution in glycerin or dry borax

• PVA glue

• mixing tank

• dye (gouache, brilliant green, etc.)

• glass rod, spatula or stirrer

The basic principle is to interfere very quickly because your task is to evenly distribute the bora in the amount of PVA glue. It is necessary to do this until the physical and chemical interaction between them has begun.

We take a little borax (a pinch is enough). Dissolve in a separate vessel.

Next, add the PVA. It is necessary to shake the glue and pour the required amount. It's simple: the more glue, the larger the size of the future handgum.

We merge the prepared solution of borax and glue and mix. There should be a sufficient amount of borax solution, otherwise the handgum will turn out to be too liquid, it will stick and get your hands dirty. Lumps of mass should gradually form on a stick. When all the glue from the mixture goes into nubbin you can pull the mass out of the container and transfer it to a napkin to get rid of excess liquid. Just do it and handgum is ready!

There are many other handgum recipes online.



What can the handgum be used for ?


Sometimes you want to give not just flowers but unusual flowers: blue or green roses, colorful daisies, rainbow chrysanthemums. And it is not at all necessary to seek help from genetics or selection. The biology of colors makes it possible to dye them in the desired color in simpler way. For example:

Necessary materials:

• plants with a porous stem (alliums, gerbera, chamomile, chrysanthemum, asparagus, rose, etc.)

• food coloring (you can use other soluble dyes and even beet juice)

• glass container

• water

First you need to dissolve the dye in water. Then you should prepare the flowers, for this you need to cut the stems (at an angle of 45 degrees) about 3 cm from the bottom. It is important to be careful, do not squeeze the stem. Cutting the stem is needed to ensure that there is no excess air in the stem, preventing the spread of the coloring solution. Then the plants (stems) should be placed in tinted water and left for a day at room temperature. Bright light, warm air, low air humidity accelerates the coloring process.

To produce a seven-color flower (when one bud can be painted in several colors at once), you need to split the stem along about 10 cm from the base and lower part of the split stem into a solution of one color, and the other part into a solution of a different color:

How does Biology explain this effect? One of the most important mechanisms of transport of substances in the plant is osmosis. Osmosis is the transfer of solvent molecules (for example, water) from areas with a higher concentration to areas with a lower concentration through a semipermeable membrane. This process is similar to normal diffusion, but proceeds faster.

Osmosis is characterized numerically by osmotic pressure — a pressure that must be applied to prevent osmotic water from entering the solution. In plants, the role of such semi-permeable membranes is played by the plasma membrane and the tonoplast (the membrane surrounding the vacuole). If the cell is in contact with a hypertonic solution (that is a solution in which the concentration of water is less than in the cell itself) then water begins to flow out of the cell. This process is called plasmolysis. The cell shrinks.

Plasmolysis is reversible: if such a cell is placed in a hypotonic solution (with higher water content), the water will start to flow in and the cell will swell again. At the same time, the inner parts of the cell (protoplast) exert pressure on the cell wall. In a plant cell, swelling is stopped by a rigid cell wall.

The bulk of the water is absorbed by the young zones of plant roots in the area of root hairs - tubular outgrowths of the epidermis. Thanks to them, the water intake surface is significantly increased. Water enters the root (cut off stem) due to osmosis and moves upward to the xylem along the apoplast (along the cell walls), the symplast (along the cytoplasm), and also through the vacuole.

It is important to note that in the cell walls there are strips called Caspari belts. They consist of waterproof suberin and impede the movement of water and substances dissolved in it. In these places water is forced to pass through the plasma membrane of cells. It is believed that in this way plants are protected from the penetration of toxic substances, pathogenic fungi.

The rise of water (and dyes with it) on the xylem occurs due to the evaporation of water in the leaves. In the process of evaporation lack of water forms in the leaves. The surface tension in the xylem vessels is able to pull up the entire column of water, creating a mass flow. Water lifting speed is about 1 m / h. Therefore, it takes some time to color the flowers taking into consideration the “branching of the transport network” of the flower.



Is it possible to dye only separate parts of a flower without coloring others? Argue for the answer.


One of the most widespread traditions in Europe is decorating the Easter tree and sprouting a special “grassy”. In Eastern Europe a green “pillow” of young grass is put into the Easter basket as a base.

The very tradition of such a green basket dates back to the times of ancient Egypt - the cult of Osiris, for the holiday of which the grass was germinated in a basket. However, in any case young green grass means life and rebirth.

In addition, such "grassy " will be completely liked by pets - cats. Blades of grass are believed to help cats cleanse the digestive tract of wool and toxins. But it's not only that.

On the surface of the ear-leaved "lawn" grass and grass and cereals, which cats love so much, there are always hay stick spores. This useful bacterium lives in symbiosis with many plants, but especially "loves" cereals. Getting together with plants in the body of an animal, hay bacillus protects it from disease, destroying bacteria and viral infections. And smart cats instinctively help their body by eating this grass.

Oats, barley, and wheat are often germinated for cats at home. Sometimes animals choose someone favorite weed.

How to make a grassy decoration?

You need:

• Seeds of lawn grass, barley, oats, wheat.

• Vermiculite (or its mixture with the soil); you can use a hydrogel

• Vessel for planting seeds or a fragment of fabric (for example, pantyhose from thin nylon).

• Elements for decoration.

If we make «grassy» for cats, we use soil or its mixture with vermiculite.




Think about other uses of such "grassy". Introduce your “grassy concept”.


Natural cosmetics are always in fashion. After all, even the most fashionable and cool brands in their advertising campaigns very often turn to the topic of naturalness and environmental friendliness. So why not compete with them and make a cosmetic gift by yourself?

Preparing the natural cosmetics it is important to calculate the proportions of ingredients correctly and determine the sequence of their compounds. In many cases, it is necessary to adhere to the temperature regime strictly. For this, the temperature of the ingredients is repeatedly checked with thermometers during the preparation of the cosmetic.

Begin the comprehension of cosmetic art with simple recipes gradually moving to more complex ones. Developing the necessary practical skills memorize the interesting tips and invent your own recipes.

Most of the ingredients can be purchased at pharmacies or in special cosmetic stores as well as online stores. For example, glycerin, natural and essential oils, capsules of vitamins can be found almost in every pharmacy. You can also buy lanolin, emulsifiers and active substances. Beeswax can be bought at beekeeping stores, online stores, or if you have familiar beekeepers, you can ask them.

In order to make creams you must have a syringe with graduations. So, you can measure the required number of milliliters with mini mixer. Almost all the recipes for creams are based on the final beating of all the mixed ingredients. If you do not have a mini mixer, you can whip the cream with a whisk or fork, or use a conventional mixer with such nozzles that allow you to whip up a small amount of the mixture.

It is important to remember about the correct sequence of mixing the components of the cream, otherwise the result may disappoint you.

There are a lot of master classes for making creams in the Internet. But they are all based on the principle of proportionality.That is, they use mathematical proportion!



Think, how should a trendy natural cream look like? Which ingredients, additives are needed for this? What should be the packaging texture? Create your own “home brand” of cream. What should be its composition and properties, packaging design?

Relax/ Emotions

It is always pleasant to receive gifts. It is pleasant to give them and to see how they bring joy to our life. Creating gifts by yourself is also a fun thing. Creating a gift can be a one-time action as well as can become a hobby or even grow into your occupation or business. After all, any great path begins with the first step. Here is a whole range of tips.

Coffee miracle

Materials you need:

• Coffee mug;

• Coffee beans;

• Cotton pads;

• White thread;

• Brown acrylic paint;

• Glue (hot or superglue).

Using similar techniques and materials you can make a coffee tree. Changing the coffee beans for old toys and decorations, turning on the fantasy and you will have various interesting interior details:

Sweet life

Candy can be not only delicious, but also an original beautiful gift. They can be presented both in the form of a bouquet and in the form of a flowerpot. It can be supplemented with pleasant trifles-accessories.

Materials you need:

• Sweets;

• Gift trivia;

• Super glue;

• Pot;

• Floristic foam (can be replaced with foam or synthetic padding);

• Artificial moss or grass.

• Skewers

Rainbow Races

Why not to please some of the kids with wax crayon in the form of fireballs, flowers, funny animals? They can draw and play with them.

Materials you need:

• Wax crayons;

• Jar for water bath;

• Shapes for pouring (muffins, old boxes of plasticine or candy, etc.);

• Mixing stick;

For faster cooling it is better to use a refrigerator.

This is only a small part of those opportunities that simply hover in the air. The main thing is imagination and the desire to create! Good luck!



Imagine what other gifts you can create? What materials can you use?


The End