October 29, 2007

Our Earth: from the inside out

We're finally beginning our study of explorers today. I've had this on tap since the beginning of October, we were just too engrossed in other adventures to start then.

Anyhoo, we started with the earth. Using the Christian Cottage Unit Study, Explorers, we explored the inside of the earth. I pulled out our Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space and created a PowerPoint Presentation from the first chapter. Then we made salt dough globes, from the inside out, starting with the solid core, adding the outer core and mantle and placing the finishing touches with the crust. Once completed, I took a piece of floss and sliced through all the layers so that the kids could see the insides. Here's M's (at least I think it's her's--they all look the same):

While we added the crust, which almost 6 miles deep in real life, we reviewed the continents. The kids enjoyed forming the land masses. But, it seems, they know the continents based on the countries we've studied. So K's Europe is boot-shaped for Italy and M's Africa is really just the Red Sea. :) And both the girls added the North Pole, which of course isn't a continent, but I haven't been able to convince them otherwise.

Here's the salt dough clay recipe we used:

Combine these ingredients in a sauce pan:

  • 1 Cup Flour

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil (I used Canola)

  • 1 Cup Water

  • 1/2 Cup Salt

  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tarter

Stir continuously (to prevent sticking) with a wooden spoon over medium heat. The mixture is soupy of a few minutes and then quickly begins to thicken. At this point, I remove from the heat, but still stir. Then I take the hot goo and knead (with extra flour on my hands) for a few minutes. I break the large ball into parts and mix in colored tempera paints. It will air-dry over the next few days.

We then watched a video based on one the D'Aulaire's books, Christopher Columbus. I would have read the story to them except our library only had the video. I then googled a picture of Columbus, which I will print and glue to a large index card. That will then be our first entry on our timeline.

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