Saturday, September 8, 2018

Local History & Geography Week One

A few notes from our introduction to the History & Geography of Southern Illinois!

Monday, September 3

Tuesday, September 4

  • read Mountain Dance by Thomas Locker
  • from the back of the book, read the "About Mountains" intro and the "Folded Mountains" section
  • look at a globe and discuss Wegener's theory of continental drift
  • discuss plate tectonics and look at paper map of This Dynamic Planet by USGS
  • demonstrate how to use the North America Stencil by Waseca Biomes to make a map of North America
  • discuss the fact that the Appalachian Mountains are lower and smaller than the Rockies but are much much older
  • watch video of Undersea Volcano Eruptions

Thursday, September 6

Friday, September 7

  • briefly review the First Great Lesson and how the Earth was formed
  • look at diagrams in Glaciers Smooth the Surface article by ISGS
  • read Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton to page 43
  • explain that there are no dinosaur fossils in Illinois because the glaciers scraped up those younger Mesozoic Era layers, removing them and uncovering the older Paleozoic Era layers below
  • look at trilobite and cooksonia illustrations in The Drop in My Drink: The Story of Water on our Planet and tell children that we will be taking a field trip to visit a layer of rock from the Devonian Period... from back in trilobite times and back when fishes first crawled onto the land... back before the fern forests and the giant dragonflies, before the mass extinction of species that ended the Paleozoic Era, before the dinosaurs, before the flowering plants, before the birds, before the mammals...
  • field trip to Tower Rock
  • while at Tower Rock, look at illustrations from page 4-7 of Illinois: A History in Pictures by Gerald Danzer:
      1.1 "Tower Rock"
      1.3 "The Ice Age"
      1.4 "A Cross Section of Illinois Topography"
  • while at Tower Rock, look at illustration on page 233 of Geology Underfoot in Illinois showing cross section of the Devil's Backbone-Fountain Bluff area and the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous Period layers; Tower Rock is part of field trip #32, "A Fault-Seeking Expedition: Fountain Bluff to the Pine Hills Escarpment"

It's very easy to get to Tower Rock from Carbondale. Simply drive straight through Murphysboro until you hit Route 3 and take a left. Keep driving until you are almost to the town of Grand Tower. Take a right on Power Point Road (this turn is labeled Devil's Backbone Park but be aware that it really sneaks up on you). Keep following the little brown signs for Devil's Backbone Park (and then when the signs end and the road ends, turn left and head for the Mississippi River and you'll drive straight into the parking lot).

Of course, we've also been doing lots of other things including setting up the classroom space and labeling school supplies, meeting Specials teachers and starting with Art and Yoga, having Reading Meetings and diving into new books, playing educational games (including Battleship, Check the Fridge, Clumsy Thief, Scrabble, Qwirkle, and the Hunter Gatherer Simulation Game from Early Humans by Michelle Breyer) and getting to know one another, enjoying group and individual lessons on the Montessori materials, beginning Handwork projects, and starting our new read aloud, The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown.

Thank you for the additional donations of art supplies and other wonderful materials for the classroom! We are so fortunate to have such a supportive community providing encouragement to our little homeschooling group!

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