Monday, January 19, 2009

Layers of Fun...

Our next science topic was studying the layers of the earth. I found this really cool rap about it. Some of the verses went over their heads, but they really loved the chorus and still are singing it. After also reading a book What's Inside the Earth (which we had to skip the first two pages as they described how the earth just came together in a cosmic collision, please. How can people believe that?), we were ready for a project. We used our friendly Play Doh to recreate the layers. Of course, I had to do one too for instructional purposes and not just because I love the smell of Play Doh!



Posted by PicasaThis was an amazingly simple yet fun project. The only change I would make is to make the inner core smaller starting out to make it more to scale (you can see the colored print out on the table where we discussed the size of each layer) because by the time we got to the mantle which is actually the largest layer, we didn't have enough Play Doh! Yet again, the kids made a great instructional video which I will probably get around to posting months from now :)
I know this lesson really sunk in their minds though because 4 days later they both ran up to me and said, "We just figured out that our bodies have layers just like the earth. Our heart is the inner core. Our blood and organs are the outer core. Our bones are the mantle, and our skin is the crust!"
As you can imagine, I was very proud at them remembering the layers and making such a great connection. I was also really touched that they were discussing this amongst themselves. When they used to come home from school where they spent all day apart, they would argue or try to top each other on who did what that day. They didn't have much common ground and certainly couldn't discuss what they learned that day. That is a great side effect of homeschooling that you have a classmate who you are always with and able to discuss things you both learned that day. Wow, 2 weeks in and I'm already on like #97 of things I love about homeschooling. Maybe I should make that like a regular feature on the blog or something, hmmm...

3 comments:

IJ said...

Thanks, Tonya, for the shout-out! I'm really glad that your kids liked "Layers of the Earth", and I wish them luck in their voyages of discovery.

HTJ said...

I am familiar with the rap "Layers of the Earth" too and love it. You may wish to go to the website, www.educationalrap.com and download the lyrics (they're free) by going to the actual song page on the website. My guess is that your 7-year old will have no problem understanding them and will enjoy naming the layers that he has created!
You sound like wonderful creative teacher and mother. Helen Jackson

Angie said...

I LOVE Unit Studies!!! The kids are learning together, and they can discuss, and why any parent would want to do 4 hours individually with different topics for each kid baffles me! You go, girl!