I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
This is the culminating project we did after a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science. We made edible volcanoes, performed earth science demonstrations, displayed paintings of the earth's layers and volcanoes, sang songs about the earth science, and more! The presentations were done immediately following the lesson on Erosion. Also included are the field trips we attended during this unit. My lessons are geared toward 3rd-4th grade level children and their siblings. These are lessons I created to do with a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 12 children between the ages of 1-13. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, after school program, or co-op!
Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere without giving proper credit:
End-of-the-Unit Project Options
Please have each of your children complete one of the below activities to present/share:
1) Do an Earth Science project. There are lots of great projects we have not done. Try one out at home and then either demonstrate it for us at the co-op or simply tell us what you did and what you found out (in science fair project fashion). Here's one site you can start with if you need ideas.
2) Draw or paint an Earth Science-realted picture.
3) Write and illustrate an Earth Science-related book or poem.
4) Bake/make an Earth Science-related recipe. Here are some ideas: molten cake, rock candy, volcano potatoes, earthquake cake, earth layer meatballs, etc. Here's a website with additional ideas.
5) Research a particular catastrophic event (like the eruption of Mount Vesuvius) and either write report or a "newspaper article" on it OR make a speech to our group about it. You could even dress up like a news reporter or someone who lived through that event.
Earth Science Songs
The children sang the songs they learned during this unit. We recorded them singing.
a. Sing How God Put the Earth Together (adapted from How the Earth Works by O'Brien-Palmer from Originally Rocks and Shocks: Singable Science Songs)
Tune: "I'm a Little Teapot" (Motions are underlined.)
Earth has 4 layers inside to out. (Hold up 4 fingers)
Traveling in space, it spins about. (Spin around)
The inner core's a solid metal ball (Squeeze your fist)
Known as the center of the earth to all.
The outer core is layer number 2. (Lay your left hand over your squeezed fist.)
It's liquid iron and nickel all through.
A mantle of rock is layer 3. (Flex your biceps as you say 'rock.' Hold up 3 fingers when you sing "3.")
Crust forms the surface for land and sea.
Earth is a puzzle of 13 plates,
Slowly moving as they meet their mates. (Slowly wave back and forth.)
Some collide, some slide, some let lava through (For "collide" slap hands together, for "slide" slide hands back and forth, for "let lava through" wiggle your fingers)
As they float beneath both me and you. (Slowly wave back and forth as you point to yourself and to someone standing in front of you.)
Before Noah's flood the continents were one (Hold up 1 finger)
Due to sin their movement is never done (Sadly shake your head)
Seven continents slowly move around (Slowly sway and hold up 7 fingers)
On the hydronic plates that form the ground. (Point to the ground and jump as you say "ground.")
b. Sing The Rock Cycle Song. *I changed some words*
Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Has been formed in layers
Often found near water sources
With fossils from decayers.
Then there's IGNEOUS rock
Pumice, Obsidian, Granite
Molten Lava, cooled and hardened
That's how God planned it.
These two types of rocks
Can also be transformed
With pressure, heat and chemicals
METAMORPHIC rock is born.
Hand motions for sedimentary rock lines: continuously put one hand on top of the other
Hand motions for igneous rock lines: roll fingers like lava and then make fists for hardening
Hand motions for metamorphic rock lines: hold out both hands and then clasp both hands together for pressure
c. Sing What's Inside a Volcano?
Tune: London Bridge (Motions are underlined.)
What's inside a volcano, volcano, volcano? (Hold up both arms like you're asking a question.)
What's inside a volcano? Let's find out!
Magma, air and hot ash, hot ash, hot ash, (Wiggle your fingers)
Magma, air and hot ash, deep inside.
Pressure sends them up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, (Have your wiggling fingers move upward)
Pressure sends them up, up, up,
To the surface!
The conduit goes to the top, to the top, to the top, (Form a triangle over your head with your two arms)
The conduit goes to the top,
Making a cone.
Lava pours out on the land, on the land, on the land, (Starting with your arms over your head, have your hands come down to your sides as you wiggle your fingers.)
Lava pours out on the land,
Through a fissure.
It becomes igneous rock, igneous rock, igneous rock, (Make a fist)
It becomes igneous rock,
Made from lava.
The volcano becomes extinct, becomes extinct, becomes extinct, (Put both hands next to your face and pretend to go to sleep.)
The volcano becomes extinct,
No more eruptions!
Field Trip Ideas
During our Earth Science Unit, we looked at rocks and gemstones at our Museum of Natural Science after we studied rocks (week 2). After we studied fossils (week 3), we took a field trip to a local phosphate mine and hunted for fossils after our lesson on fossils. They also told us about how they use core sampling.
Make an edible model of the earth as you study the Earth's layers, bake cookies that demonstrate how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form, create fossil casts, build marshmallow structures that can withstand a jell-o earthquake, carve gullies and valleys in sand using wind, water, and ice, make presentations on various aspects of the Earth, and more during this 6 lesson hands-on unit study of Earth Science!
- Earth's Layers and Soil Composition Lesson - This is part 1 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make an edible model of the earth, act out each of the Earth's layers, do core testing on a cupcake, make oobleck, and more!
- Rock Classification Lesson - This is part 2 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make and eat "Sedimentary" Seven Layer Bars, create "Metamorphic" Snickers bars, do some rock mining, and more!
- Fossils Lesson - This is part 3 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. The focus of this lesson is fossils! Create fossils casts, dig up and piece together dinosaur skeletons, excavate dinosaurs, eat edible ammonites, and more!
- Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes Lesson - This is part 4 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Make edible volcanoes, build an erupting ring of fire, demonstrate plate tectonics using graham crackers, form each type of volcano using play-doh, and more!
- Earthquakes Lesson - This is part 5 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Create a tsunami, build marshmallow structures that can withstand an earthquake, act out seismic waves, build and use a seismograph, and more!
- Erosion Lesson - This is part 6 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Demonstrate various types of erosion as children carve gullies and valleys in sand using air, water, and ice. Re-create the Grand Canyon. Compare how soil resists erosion.
- Earth Science Presentation and Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating project we did after a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science. We made edible volcanoes, performed earth science demonstrations, displayed paintings of the earth's layers and volcanoes, sang songs about the earth science, and more! Also included are the field trips we attended during this unit.
For fun you can end with The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top
Would you like to teach this way every day?
I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful curriculum and was created by moms with active boys!
If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!
Let Me Know You Dropped By! - Was this lens helpful? Do you have any questions, comments, or additional ideas? Please post here!
marsha32 on June 03, 2012:
We've been using an Earth Science textbook. It's actually quite boring to be honest. Hands on makes for so much better learning in this area.
anonymous on May 20, 2012: