Along with rocks and minerals, E9 has been diving into birds of prey, the states of Maine and Kansas, prairie habitat and rocky coast marine habitats. These are some notebook pages from chapters 1-4. We will do chapters 5-9 today and next week and that’ll do it for our official school year. E9 will be taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills on the 28th adn 29th of this month. Then it’s on to summer schedule. Our adventure boxes are almost complete and I’m excited to post about it soon.
Birds of Prey and some prairie notebook entries
Maine- political map and a map of resources along with some sea notebook entries (thank you to my MOPS friend Gabby for her resources on Sarah, Plain and Tall)
Kansas and Kansas resource map along with a mini book on rock types- see post below for more rock and mineral investigations
Some facts about whales and seals (I even pulled out an old sorting game I made on whales/dolphins/sharks for E9 to do again- that was a flashback to his first semester at home when we did studies on the Magic Treehouse series of books back in first grade!), some experimenting with blues and greens- the color of the sea, and finally more sea notebook entries
Last night we did some investigating of rocks and minerals for Sarah, Plain and Tall. We borrowed the kit from a certain local university that has a few lending labs for teachers. If you are nearby to a college or university, I encourage you to check out what they might have to offer you as a homeschooler.
I started out by asking the kids how they might identify these rocks if they weren’t sure what they were and that lead to talking about the different properties of the rocks and minerals that we use to categorize them- things like hardness, streak, color, chemical properties, etc. In a classroom, there are protocols for experiments running smoothly, but I’m working with three kids now so I let them have at it! Which means I let them take all the rocks out and just see what they could see after we talked about all the different properties. That’s my kind of science and the kids loved it!
Here they are testing to see if the rock will react with 3% HCl (hydrochloric acid)- I know I should have a plastic tray but it was close to bedtime! This stuff is no worse than vinegar, but it brought back memories of spilling 6 molar HCl on my hand in college. That
hurt! Results- the marble fizzed like crazy and that was a lot of fun. Check out the above picture- they wanted to see it happen a few times.
Yup- this one’s magnetic! It’s name? Magnetite- how about that?
Checking out the crystals and other properties on the surface of the rocks.
The Moh’s hardness scale- the kids scratched glass microscope slides with each rock to see if it could make a mark in the glass. If so, then it was harder than 5.5 on the scale. If both got a mark it is around 5.5 on the scale and if it didn’t, well it was less than 5.5 on the scale.
In the end, they only had to record data on two of the rocks. I’d have gone for all of them, but in the interest of time AND the fact that the pre-made data chart only had room for two- that’s what we stuck with. This time of year the kit is busy otherwise I could have kept it for two weeks. I think we got a nice evening’s work out of it though and I got to send it all back today instead of finding a place for it!
The kids were delighted to find another use for our magnet wands though…look out!
“Outside, the prairie reached out and touched the places where the sky came down.”
His first assignment was to take a description from the text and make a picture. I taught him the “rule of thirds” in the art world so that he didn’t make his sky and grass meet half way. He got to experiment with making the grass small and the sky enormous using Prismacolor pencils.
In this version he made the sky a sliver and the prairie huge. Out of the two I like this one better. E9 likes the other one because this one reminds him of being like an animla on the ground. Either way it was a most enjoyable assignment!
These are the dividers for the different notebooking sections. There’s a big focus on the ocean and the prairie during this unit so he’ll be adding a lot to these sections. However, if they get too big we can always pull them out. The other sections are ELA (English/Language Arts) and Social Studies.
The new notebook- E9 likes it when I make a copy of the book cover and use the Xyron machine to get it to permanently attach to the front of the folder.