Friday, 31 October 2014

skeletal joints and activities

The kids and I are continuing with our human anatomy lessons in science and have completed learning about the various joints of the body.  Some of the activities we did for this unit are:
Watched several videos on the skeletal systems and joint movement

Next we looked at some chicken bones and tried to identify what type of joint it might be
We got out some sculpty clay and made a model of  each type of joint.  This is the saddle joint of the thumb
Firedrake creating a ball and sock joint

MarioFan creating a hinge joint

I made some labeled index cards and found pictures for each joint and we discussed the location and movement of each joint

 Next it was time for some fun activities that I found on pinterest
making a candy spinal cord
Who doesn't love eating their science projects:)

We also made a larger spine to keep in the school room

Originally we used string to represent the nerves but then we went back and changed it since it was hard to see

We will be going back to this  model when we study the nervous system later in the year.
We are now moving on to study and learn about the muscular system of the body!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Learning about Farm steading in Missouri

We took a field trip to Thornhill which is the home of Missouri second governor when it was still a territory.  The kids got to participate in some chores that would be expected of children in the 1800's.

This old barn is over 150 years old and you can see the old peg and wood construction 
Seeing the wood and peg method of building in the old barn

Kids being shown how it works and how strong this method of building is

The Main house so pretty with the leaves changing

an older building used for distillery on the property
The ice house and the smoke house on the property

Kids were shown how dyes were made using black walnut and a berry plant

Simply placed in water and left alone for about an hour and the water changed color
Checking on the dye later and seeing a nice brown color from the black walnut and a pink/purple color from the berries

One of the first activities the kids had to do when they arrived was help cut up the veggies for their lunch meal 

veggies being put in the pot and while it was cooking the kids learn about the history of this house and did a few more chores 

Like turning butter

so we would have fresh butter to go along with our bread 

Next the kids needed to bring water to the house to help with dishes and cooking

find kindling for the fire

and carry wood to the kitchen to help keep the fire burning 

Once that was done they went out to the field to do harder work

like splitting logs to build a zig zag fence

Getting a proper demonstrating of putting the wedge into a log

and then how to hammer it in without breaking a leg:)

Then the kids got a try

All the kids loved this and kept wanted to hammer the wedges,  I think they put in 3-4 wedges before we had to move on to the next activities

Learning to build a zig zag fence 

After all that hard work the kids were called in for lunch
veggie soup and bread for the main meal 

and then cooked apples for dessert along with lemonade and ginger cookies
After lunch we toured the family graveyard and learned a little about the history of the family

Frederick Bates grave (second governor of MO)

Then the kids had a chance to make wax candles---first a string was dipped in hot wax

then dipped in cold water -- the kids had a chance to do this about 20X and had a nice small starter candle now.  I might have them try to make a bigger candle with more wax one day:)  So much hands on learning to do:)
After the chores were done we explored the inside of the house

the home had two original tables that belong to the Bates family

traveling writing desk 

We had such a great learning day out and learn a little more about our states history.  This facility has many school programs to offer.  We enjoyed it so much that we would go back for another program!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mammoth Cave

Recently we went to visit family that we haven't seen in several years as we lived out of the country.  We took a slight detour to visit Mammoth cave.  Both my kids love cave tours and have been talking about visiting this cave for at least a year!

The cave is over 3 miles long and here is a model of the many tunnels and directions of the cave...This is not a very pretty cave in that it doesn't have many rock formations
The was a interesting museum we toured thru while waiting for our 2 hour tours and we learn many interesting facts about how tunnels are formed and why they take on their shape

Kids were really hoping to see a gypsum flower in the cave but alas we did not.

Learned that slaves were used to mine saltpeter which is used for gun powder during the 1812 war

Dr. John Croghan, in 1842 also used this cave as a hospital building huts and beds inside the cabe believing that the cool temperatures would cure TB.  It didn't and the Doctor himself died of TB in 1849

Other uses for the cave was a mushroom farm, it was used for a sleep study experiment in the 1930 and a civil defense site int eh 50 and 60's

We took a bus to the man made entrance to the cave entrance.  There are over 27 different entrances to the cave.  This one was built back in the 20's 

Entering the cave was sort of weird as we walked thru a concrete wall with a door and then down the first 180 stairs:)

There are several tours that you can sign up for.  We only had time for a single tour and chose to do a 2 hour tour which included nearly 500 stairs and about 3/4 mile of the cave called domes and dripstones

heading down to see the famous Niagara falls dripstones.

We spotted several cave crickets along the paths...Kids really wanted to see bats but they were in another part of the cave.

The exit of the cave looks very much like the entrance for this tour

We decided after the tour to walk down to the original cave entrance.  We did not have time to go on this tour but hope to go back and see another section of the cave and visit some of  the great rooms

Before we drove off we a saw wild turkeys 
We loved seeing the cave and manage to climb all 500 stairs:) but boy did our calves hurt the nest day:)!