Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Camp Planning - Paleozoic III - Silurian

Please note, if you have arrived at this post out of chronological order, that this is part of my overall From Lava to Life summer camp planning.

At the bottom of the post I've updated with the actual lesson notes after teaching it... if you find my brainstorm-jumble frustrating, I hope this added information will help! Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Already Owned:

Bought for Camp:


    read Silurian book from

    coral reef? the activity where you blow watecolor paint through a straw is always pretty

    the rise of the fish (jaws and real bones at the end of the Silurian period)

    moss, lichen, fungi, centipedes, early arachnids on land

    Cooksonia - vascular tissue - vascular bundles experiments with celery etc - walking water experiment
    I like the variation in The Curious Kid's Science Book, pp.74-75

    prep Wednesday night:

    • set out Silurian Period book, plastic centipede, plastic spider
    • set up demonstration from Waseca Biomes - plastic bag, large bowl with water
    • set up vascular bundles experiment - different kinds of paper, small bowls, food coloring in the primary colors, water, scissors
    • set up wilted celery demonstration - wilted celery, water, jar, fridge - I always used to throw away wilted celery until I found out you can revitalize it by just putting it in a jar of water!
    • supplies for coral reef artwork - liquid watercolors, straws, large sheets of paper
    • get finger knitting yarn ready - reds
    • tomorrow - have remaining students taste crockpot yogurt, get caught up on calendar artwork as needed, do August art (hot glue doodles)
    • brainstorm museum displays for Cambrian and Ordovician Periods


THURSDAY AM - review Cambrian and Ordovician, begin work on Cambrian Period poster and model golden beeswax Hallucigenia, read Silurian book and look at centipede and spider, set up celery experiment (none of the children had ever done it before) with celery stalks with leaves in a jar of plain water vs. a jar of water with red food coloring) and Walking Water experiment from The Curious Kid's Science Book (we used paper towel, wax paper, and white copier paper -- the paper towel won), Art catch-up time (bacteria - Sparkle Mod Podge, freeform hot glue bacteria inside the drawing of a magnifying glass, Gelli print plate algae, jellyfish art), draw lines for trilobites and trace with India ink/white glue mixture, taste our yogurt, set up additional yeast balloon experiments (we doubled the sugar), finger knit and add lots of red to layers of Earth weaving

THURSDAY PM - special guest visitor Dr. Scott Hamilton-Brehm


I was amazed that none of the kids had ever done the celery/red dye experiment before! That one is a classic!

Both the celery and the walking water show results best the next day, but I love the idea of having the primary colors "walk" to form the secondary colors in the empty cup... and it works!

Dr. Scott's talk was awesome and we had so much fun. I am hoping to collaborate with him on a new children's book, bringing the Timeline of Life story up to date with new information, like the third domain of life and the fact that all the most ancient life forms on the tree of life -- those on the lowest branches -- are thermophiles (heat lovers) which raises the intriguing likelihood that earliest life formed in the molten earth and not in the shallow seas!

In order to help the kids understand the concept of microbes better, Dr. Scott brought a collection of microbe plushies. These were new to me, and they're great! They would be so fun to needle felt! "Halitosis" was hilarious.

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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