Cooking was fun, and it was certainly delicious, but with a new year comes a new theme, Geology! This was always my favorite thing to study in school, and I know that elementary students have limited time to devote to the study of the earth, so I knew it would be perfect. As the students came in and saw the new theme, their thoughts immediately turned to rocks and minerals, a subject that seems to be covered in every grade level. However, with our first activity, I challenged their concept of what geology is and what it isn’t!
I gave them about thirty index cards, each with a different concept, idea, or item on it. They had to consult with their partners and divide them according to if they were geology, or if they were not. Then, after watching two videos, I had them go back and revise their thoughts based on the information they heard. I think many were surprised to learn that we would be learning much more than rocks and minerals!
After we correctly categorized ll of our cards, we discussed WHY we needed to learn about geology. We decided that it was important to be able to learn about God’s creation and to be able to tell others about it from a Biblical and a scientific perspective. We also learned that many jobs today involve knowing about and making predictions based upon the knowledge of geology.
The lower grades learned three things during our next activity. They learned what a geologist does and what special tools that a geologist carries with them out in the field. They also learned how to make a concept map and use it to record things that they know and learn. We watched a video about the daily life of a geologist, and during this, they took notes on their concept maps. Some found that it was easier to watch, really pay attention, and write later, while others wrote and watched at the same time. We discussed how everyone has different learning styles and either method was ok!
After lunch, we turned our attention to the earth and its layers. We learned all about the different layers- the inner core, the outer core, the mantle, and the crust. We made a clay model of the earth and then cut it open to reveal the different layers.
And then we began our culminating project, a flap activity that shows the different layers. We’ll add our text next week to demonstrate what we learned!
Fifth graders did things a little bit differently. After doing our sorting activity and discussing what a geologist does, each student chose a different earth science job to research: volcanologist, seismologist, geophysical engineer, mineralogist, speleologist, or paleontologist. They were working on their posters when it was time for lunch, so I’ll have pictures next week!
Then, after lunch, they learned about the layers of the earth too. Instead of everyone making the same kind of model of the earth, however, the fifth graders got to choose the way in which they expressed what they had learned. Some used clay. Some did it with legos. And some did it artistically with chalk pastels!
As with most of the sciences, as we learn our content, we are faced with many scientific information that is presented as “fact.” Perhaps in geology more than the other sciences, so many of those facts are in direct contrast with what we believe and learn about the way that God created the world. Therefore, as we go through this quarter, we will be learning what scientists tell us, and then learning about what God’s word says, and viewing the information through a Biblical worldview. I have been very impressed with how many of the students already do this and can back up their beliefs with scientific evidence!
Stay tuned next week as we explore tectonic plates and earthquakes!