Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crackin' Geodes and Testin' Minerals

Today was a cool lesson day.  We went over what a mineral is and it's properties...wrote it all down... talked about it...and then....THEN, we took "school" outside.  And the ***fun*** began.  (not that book learning isn't fun..but, you know what I mean...)
*anyway*  we went outside....and got out the geodes.  GEODES!!!  how cool is that?  I couldn't wait till the day when we studied rocks so I could get us...I mean, THE KIDS....some geodes.  The day had arrived... with all waited with bated breath.... the kids hammered away....

And then ...the moment we'd all been waiting for... what's inside??? what's inside??
Cool, huh???
I didn't buy Isaac a geode...because he's three...and I didn't think he'd know what it was anyway...so, we put him a rock in the geode bag.  He was in heaven...

Then we broke out the testing paraphernalia...to test the minerals...

Which was pretty dang cool...  we had ceramic plates for the streak test, glass plates (which..ok...I won't lie...I didn't let them try to scratch anything with the glass plate...I was afraid it'd break and somebody would get cut...LOL...we did use a nail...which is along the same hardness level, I think) a penny, a nail, and our fingernails for the scratch test...  it was fun!
The streak test on one of the ceramic plates:
Then, out came the hydrochloric acid...which I was just a tiny bit nervous about.  We tested one of the minerals and a few rocks lying around with no reaction. I was ready to put it up...I know..very unscientific of me...  and the boys and Sarah were begging to keep it out and see if they could find something it reacted with.  So, they tested a cinder block...you can't imagine (ok, perhaps you can) the oooohs and ahhhhs that followed when the acid bubbled up on the block.  And it was on from there...  it reacted on the mortar on the house in a very kid pleasing way...  LOL..  when Malachi put a few drops on the mortar, it actually smoked and fizzed...  they were totally loving that.  Yes, I thought it was very cool, too....  :)
All four kids learning together..  this seriously makes me smile.....

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