Saturday, September 29, 2018

Science Club: Charles Darwin

If we are studying Birds in Science Club and practicing Latitude & Longitude in our main lesson block on Local History & Geography (Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark), Darwin and his finches are the perfect tie-in with both!

Friday, September 21

  • update science journal with notes from bird beak experiment and owl pellet dissection, listen to Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs CD: Eastern Region

  • use kitchen balance to measure 3.5 oz salt and 96.5 oz water, combine to simulate ocean water
  • discuss Charles Darwin and his voyage on the Beagle, look at illustrations in The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis, discuss Darwin's observations and the theory of evolution by natural selection

  • explain the experiments Darwin conducted back at home to explore questions about how life could appear on remote islands (the Galapagos Islands are approximately 600 miles west of the coast of South America), revisit Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island

  • set up experiment with spinach seeds and our simulated ocean water, write predictions in science journal

    will our control seeds germinate?
    will seeds that are soaked for one week survive and germinate?
    how about 2 weeks? 3 weeks? a month?

  • use PBS lesson plan "Darwin's Great Voyage of Discovery", which includes a world map handout along with excerpts from The Voyage of the Beagle, to actually plot latitude and longitude points along Darwin's voyage from England to the Galapagos Islands

Friday, September 28

  • finish mapping Darwin latitude/longitude project
  • plant our spinach control seeds and the seeds which have soaked in "ocean" water for one week; make predictions; discuss Punic Wars and how Rome salted the ground after defeating Carthage so that no crops could grow there and thus Carthage could not be rebuilt
  • conduct NEED science experiment "Exploring Heat 7" using thermometers, clear plastic cups, water, and sand
  • read A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston

  • discuss how the results of "Exploring Heat 7" connect with the nest building activity of the ovenbird (South America)
  • do "Branch Weaving" art project from Good Earth Art by MaryAnn Kohl, page 130

  • read weaver bird (Africa) and satin bowerbird (Australia) information from Bird Egg Feather Nest by Maryjo Koch

  • read satin bowerbird information from chapter 6, "The Bird Artist," of The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

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