Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rocks and Fossils, and Grammar and Other Projects

Old things that are hard: these two explorations weren't all that close to each other, but I'll try my best to remember my information sources.  If my mind seems a bit sprout-y it is because it is spring and I am presently wondering, HOW are the boys destroying my measuring tape outside? The SOUNDS are tipping me off that there may be some impermissible tape-measure behavior going on. Hold, on....

Okay, I'm back. First, different types of rock. I think that this is sedimentary, or layered rock. I adapted this set of instructions from Homeschool Den. I just used what I had on hand.
Here, we have layers people. Color-full-sugar-filled ones, which incidentally, the kids didn't eat because we are on an elimination diet. Amazing.

This was pre-heat metamorphic rock/sugar.
After we stuck the metamorphic specimen in the oven and added heat, it looked like the mess on the right. The specimen on the left, is igneous: one piece that had cooled from a very high temperature into a more homogeneous mass.

Then we sang the three types of rock song to the tune of "row, row, row your boat."
Sedimentary rock,
Has been formed in layers,
Often found near water sources,
With fossils from decayers.

Then there's igneous rock,
Here since earth was born,
Molten lava, cooled and hardened,
That's how it is formed.

These two types of rock ,
Can also be transformed,
With pressure, heat and chemicals,
Metamorphic they'll become.

Kids loved singing that one.
And we explored some of our personal rock collection specimens. These specimens are large enough to be held in the palm of your hand. They are from RocksandMinerals.com and I purchased the Premium Rock Collection. It comes with a handy booklet for those who don't have a strong geology background. I'd say that the booklet is more for adult useage, or middle-schooler/high-school usage, or for the young extreme enthusiast. My kids weren't interested in the more detailed information. This collection was a bit more pricy, but I really wanted the kids to have large-enough samples to hold, feel, and identify. Most smaller sized sets I found on other websites, featured quarter sized rocks, and I felt these samples were too small. I was quite pleased with this sample set.



D figured out that pumice floats.
I think that these are two selenite crystals, purchased on a trip to some underground caverns.
Some of these other specimens we picked up on that same trip south where we went to visit the caverns and "pan for gold." This is S's personal collection. She is very proud of her collection. Her rock collection is second only to her chicken bone collection. (I am not kidding, in her room she has a box of chicken bones collected from the dinner table.) S was very excited we went to the museum to look at bones!
Recently we went to a museum that had a lot of dinosaur fossils found in Texas.



T, S and D all got to converse with the paleontologist who was working at the museum that day. The tooth she is holding in her hand is from a woolly mammoth and the kids got to touch it and hold it.
This is the top part of a donkey skull and S is holding a horse's tooth. 

We visited early on a Saturday and there weren't many families at the museum yet. The exhibits were pretty small and old-looking. But it was wonderful to be able to ask the staff person any question we liked about bones and get some up-close, hands-on, personalized lessons about fossils. This first-hand interaction isn't something we've ever gotten at a larger museum and this conversation made the kids' day.
S sure looks serious doing her sentence diagramming. She and T really like these exercises.
This work was D. This work also reminded me that I have to remind him what the different parts of speech are, again. Though he has some parts down pat, others are still, lost in that goes-in-and-never-comes-out-again bin. All my children need this constant grammar review over 3-4 years and the older ones still can't identify a conjunction.
D has also started our word study cards from ETC. Here he is alphabetizing this card deck.

These are a couple of T's sentence diagrams. I guess this lesson was about prepositional phrases.
I mentioned this book in a previous post.  It is Drawing Sentences by Eugene Moutoux. The kids like the exercises and I love the instruction and descriptions. His website is here and you can now buy it on Amazon.
Over the past few months we've been doing a lot of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd materials making. For those familiar with level I materials, this one T is working on could seem a lot like the Empty Tomb work. This is because it was patterned after that material. I've cut and glued two of these "tombs" so far and I still can't seem to get the outside dimensions quite right. There are instructions, but they are vague in parts and you really need to have it in your head, what your cut list is supposed to be, and how to scale-down this ginormous material to "fit" into your atrium space. Maybe by number 3, I'll produce something satisfactory.
Here T is taking the wooden outer and making his own Minecraft "land" with styrofoam, wood glue, and joint compound.
This is what our school table looks like sometimes.
D was helping me paint the, now-that-I-think-about-it-it's-too-short-walls for the city of Jerusalem. This one is staying at home. The other one went to the atrium all ready.
He's a precise little boy.
I haven't a clue when these were shot, maybe in early February? But it was 90 degrees here today. The weather man said we were in early spring and S planted some Hollyhocks before the boys complained it was too hot and wanted to go inside. We live south I guess.


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