Rocks and minerals.

To start off our lessons, we are doing rocks and minerals. It is a direct link to the geology and gem exhibit in the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian.

First of all, when you click on the link to the exhibit, there are a bunch of ways to “enhance” your experience.  We went through all of them. I had a hard time believing he would enjoy that, but my 4 year old sat at the laptop and was entranced by everything they had to show. Additionally, my 18 month old sat and watched him work on the computer. Nicholas got to work on his computer skills, see some things that really are best explained on the computer (no, I will not take you to an active volcano so you can see it explode), and learn some things. Then we moved on to more of the rocks.

I love the Eyewitness books series. First of all, they are easy to use; each set of pages is it’s own mini lesson. This way if you can’t hold their attention the whole time, over the course of the day you can get through the whole book. Secondly, they have a ClipArt CD that comes with the book; I printed out a bunch of images and we got to use them for projects with the lesson. Lastly, they have a learning poster.

I love posters. I put them up all over the house. We have a space poster in the bathroom, phonics and music ones in the piano room, space and German in the kitchen, and ocean animal ones in the halls. Posters let my children see the things they have learned. And sometimes we even play a poster game (We run between the posters and you have to say something about the poster – a fact – before you can move on. First one to touch all the posters wins).  Also, they allow for quick refresher lessons if you are just sitting or standing around and the kids want them.

We spent some time reading the book. Then we went back online and played rock games. The Learning Zone has some great ones. NeoK12 has some great videos and printables. We visited all these sites and watched a few more movies.

Then we took out the pictures I had printed out. Nicholas had to cut each rock out. Then we made signs for the three types of rock – igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.  Nicholas got to glue each type to the appropriate sign. I was less concerned with the rocks being in the correct sign (because, let’s face it, it is hard to tell them apart sometimes), than with his explanation of why each one went where.

We also colored the Crayola coloring sheet on gemstones.

Then we wrote the word “rock” 5 times.

We also did our regular math, letter practice, and rhyming words practice after this was all over.

Lastly, we went on a rock hunt in our yard – which is easy because our soil is 1/2 rock and 1/2 clay. We painted the rocks outside. Now I have a great colored rock garden in my yard!

It was a great lesson and we had lots of fun doing it.

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  1. Dinosaur lesson « Wunderful Homeschool

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