We started our Prehistory unit today by learning about the formation of the Earth. First we watched the National Geographic movie, Earth: Making of a Planet. The movie was very good (and appears to be available online) but at two hours long, the kids did not sit and watch the whole thing straight through. They would wander off for a while and then return for more.
After the movie, we read in our Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History about how when it was first formed, the earth’s surface was covered with volcanoes. We then made our own volcano. I have never done this with the kids before so it was a new experience for them.
I have been collecting all our old, mixed up play-doh for the day we would use it to make a volcano. We covered an old jelly jar completely to make our form. Georgie didn’t want to touch the old play-doh because he said it was icky. He usually likes play-doh and, other than the colors, this was no different so I’m not sure what that was all about but Vicki didn’t mind doing all the play-doh work herself.
Then we poured a mixture of vinegar, dishsoap and red food coloring into our volcano – our molten lava.
Last, we added some baking soda. The kids loved watching the volcano erupt and wanted to do it again right away. At first, it came out very pale pink but then it became a darker red.
You can see how big of a step back Vicki took once it started “erupting”.
Very cool….and very messy.
After our volcano settled down, we did a worksheet on the different Eras of time from the Junior Paleontologists Activity Book available from the National Park Service. This is a resource I forgot to list in my Prehistory Plan. We will be using different pieces of it throughout our study.
We read about Pangea in our UILEWH and did an activity showing how the continents would separate and how mountains are formed. Ideas that I found at The Homeschool Den blog.
Next we will be learning about how fossils are formed and found.