Unit studies

This summer I have been trying to put together some social studies and science mini-units for the fall that I hope my fourth grader will enjoy.  Last school year we did a huge unit study on rocks and minerals that morphed into a big 4-H project that we completed last month.  Towards the end of the rocks and minerals study, we touched briefly on fossils, so I want to try to continue in that area of science for a while longer and see where it leads us.  

It has been going more slowly than I had hoped, but I have three science topic guides just about finished.  I will try to share them as I finish in case anyone else wants to use them.  The first one is on the geologic time scale.  For each of these I have quite a list of possible books, videos, activities, assignments, etc.  I doubt we will actually do every little thing on my list, but I tend to prefer to be over-prepared in case the topic really piques his interest.  

You can view as a file on Google Docs here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qTkzZ57fvhLW1EUOq0bqXc_lMeDWqMCnm2XNWP3zCCo/edit?usp=sharing

Or you can read on below:

Topic 1 – Geologic Time Scale


1) Watch the Geologic Time Scale video on BrainPop.  (approximately 3 minutes)

BrainPop is a subscription resource.  We use it on the iPad for $6.99/month.


2) Read pages 12-13 of The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History.  


3) Read pages 186-187 of The Usborne Encyclopedia of Science.


4) Watch this video on the Geologic Time Scale:

http://www.natgeoeducationvideo.com/film/1032/the-geologic-time-scale. (approximately 3 minutes)


5) Explore this interactive on the Geologic Time Scale:

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/prehistoric-time-line/. (15+ minutes)


6) Explore the Geotimescale enhanced app on the Kindle Fire.  (15+ minutes)


7) Play “What Came First?”  Directions for the activity can be found midway through the following page:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/ScotchmoorFirst.html.  (Supplies: Index cards, marker)


8) Follow this link to see Geologic Time represented as a clock:  http://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/clockstime.htm.


9) Make a toilet paper roll Geologic Time Scale.  Look at the following links for help: http://www.nthelp.com/eer/HOAtimetp.html  or  http://www.edufy.org/content/show/374

Or use long lengths of colored ribbon:


(Supplies needed: spools of different colored ribbon or toilet paper, marker or pen. A roll of adding machine tape would work as well instead if you can find some at an office supply store.)


10) Make at least 5 quiz cards.  Quiz cards will be used for an end-of-the-year trivia game.  Here are some examples of what you might want to write cards about:


which periods trilobites, dinosaurs, forests, and humans first appeared

which period saw the extinction of the dinosaurs

the name of the current epoch

approximately how old the earth is


(Supplies needed: Index cards, pen, box for storing your finished cards)

You could make the cards on the computer instead and print them out onto cardstock.  


11) Pick one period of geologic time to research. Write a paragraph of at least 5 sentences about it.  Pages 24-101 of The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History should be helpful.  The interactive at the following link could be helpful as well for information: http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/evolvingplanet/interactives.asp  Include a picture or two as well with your report.



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