little bug

Tuesdays Rock in Earth Explorers’ Club!

October 4, 2016
Written by: Sarah

The month of September was a busy one for the Big Kids of Earth Explorers’ Club! The children have been spending Tuesday afternoons pondering some big questions about the earth beneath their feet.

Question #1: What are rocks made of?

Cracking open geodes on Crystal Day!

To answer this question, the kids first listed things they already knew about rocks. Ava stated that we find rocks “on the ground.” Sylvie then reminded us that “rocks are hard” and Brooklynn added that “they can be different colours.”

Once we listed what the children already knew about rocks, we took some time to really feel them. Each of our buddies took a rock to examine, mindfully learning its properties through sight and touch. Then, they put their rocks back in a bowl and we set them aside. After singing a song or two, I asked the kids to find their special stone again. Success! Everyone found their original rock.

To investigate just what is inside of a rock, we decided to crack a few open. On “Crystal Day”, I helped the kids use a hammer to crack open geodes. We put each geode in a sock first to keep things nice and safe, and then took turns whacking them. After waking up a napper or two with our hammering, we called it quits and the kids examined the crystals inside in true scientific fashion using goggles and magnifying glasses.

Question #2: Where do rocks come from?

A Rock is Lively by Diana Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long

This was a tricky question for the Big Kids and I to answer. We attempted to re-create the rock cycle with crayons in a science experiment that looked much easier on Youtube than it was in real life!

Making the best of a bad situation, we read A Rock is Lively and watched a short video to learn how rocks transform from one type to another: erosion, pressure, and heat all play a part in the rock cycle. The best part of the video, of course, was the volcano. Josiah couldn’t get enough of the volcanoes, so we watched more than a few eruptions that day!

Question #3: How do we use rocks?

To find our answer, I took four buddies on a field trip to downtown Vancouver. On the bus there, we discussed all of the different things people create using rocks and minerals. From sidewalks to cell phones, the list is endless! We rely on the ground beneath us for virtually everything.

I made up bingo sheets with several objects that are made from rocks and minerals to give the kids a better picture of how they’re used. William, Sylvie, Ava, and Brooklynn were quick to point out everything they’d found. Looking out at Broadway, Brooklynn was excited to mark off the car on her sheet. Sylvie spotted a cell phone on the bus, and William was in awe of the “castles” in the downtown core.

Searching for things made of rocks and minerals downtown.

Now that September has come to a close, we’re looking forward to new and exciting things in Tuesday’s Earth Explorers’ Club. Join us on the dates below for more earthly adventures:

October 11th: The Science of Soil: How does water and temperature affect dirt?

October 18th: The Science of Soil: Building a Worm Farm

October 25th: The Science of Soil: Field trip to Charleston Park for a “rock walk” and dirt exploration. Dress for a mess, because this outdoor adventure will turn muddy if (when) it rains!

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