Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Camp Planning - Paleozoic VI - Permian

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 Permian book from

    The Permian Period began about 290 MYA and last until 248 MYA. The greatest mass extinction that has ever occurred on Earth took place at the end of this 42-million-year period.

    I think this will really surprise the kids! They may only know about the dinosaurs being wiped out. This one definintely needs a circle graph. The Permian Extinction - 90 to 95% of the species in the seas were badly harmed or became extinct.

    new plants Gymnosperms
    naked seeds

    Ginkgo is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants. The scientific name is also used as the English name. The order to which it belongs, Ginkgoales, first appeared in the Permian, 270 million years ago, possibly derived from "seed ferns" of the order Peltaspermales.

    gingko stencil for calendar art
    nature walk to find ginkgo tree on the next block, pick up leaves - some kind of display for museum?

    this stencil would be perfect for the gesso - stencils - water soluble oil pastels technique!

    reptiles with skulls that seem more like mammals, ancestors of mammals which may have had fur (therapsids)

    the extinction -- was it Pangea itself that was the problem? a meteor?
    meteor activity -- sand, rocks

    prep Sunday night:

    • set out Permian Period book
    • set out box of fraction circles and paper for circle graph
    • set out ginkgo stencil, gesso, paper for art project (water-soluble oil pastels step is tomorrow)
    • plan neighborhood walk to ginkgo tree a few blocks away
    • look at Tree of Life material from Waseca Biomes (should arrive in the mail Monday afternoon)
    • tomorrow - do plastic bag/water demonstration, make Devonian Period / Age of Fishes display on chalkboard with texturized alumimum foil fish and/or additional fish printing, make Carboniferous Period display in the corner of the room with fern forests and life-size giant dragonfly hanging from the ceiling, make Age of Trilobites display on picture window with window crayons


MONDAY AM - look through the amazing book Life: A Journey through Time, add The Age of Trilobites (page 88 in the book) to big living room window using Window Crayons, make alumimum foil fish texturized with mesh bags from onions and clementines and colored with Sharpies for the Devonian Period poster, make huge sheets of fern forests using brown rolls of butcher paper and oil pastels for the Carboniferous Period (page 149 in the book), do plastic bag activity* from Waseca Biomes, read Permian book stopping midway on page 9 to demonstrate using the fraction circles to show how many species became extinct (lay out a whole fraction circle first, then lay down 9 tenths slowly and dramatically beside it), follow the instructions for this art project and spread gesso over ginkgo stencil, set aside to let dry and take a nice morning walk around the neighborhood to find a ginkgo tree


* Waseca Biomes gets all the credit for this idea, which I found in their (older) Introduction to the Biomes PDF. You have a large bowl of water and have kids spread out their fingers and run their hands through the water like they are swimming. Then have them put their hands in a plastic bag, which works like fins because it puts a thin sheet of material between their hands, and repeat the motion. They will see how much more water is moved this way! Don't skip this! I know that it is simple, but it leads to a dramatic aha moment. I have found that most kids will line up to do it again and again.

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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