Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fun Hands on Science with Geodes and Rocks

My oldest son got this geode kit as part of his Easter basket and when my boys were up and outside by 8 this morning and I thought this was a perfect "outdoor" project. 

The boys gathered together for almost an hour breaking apart all the geodes, comparing the insides of them and looking at them up close with magnifying glasses. 



I was surprised by how hard they were to break open! 

We started on the picnic table and noticed the table was denting and our rag was filling up with holes but the geode still wouldn't break. 


We took it onto the patio and finally managed to  break one or two open and then we noticed it was shifting the patio blocks so we moved up to the driveway.  


The geodes kept moving around inside the towel and it was hard to find the center of them, we also smashed a few of them into pieces when we didn't realize they had broken open and kept on hammering away at them so I offered to get all the boys some sunglasses and we tried breaking open a few without the rag. 


They learned a lot about using a hammer, hand- eye coordination and made many scientific observations. 

We noticed that rocks with "holes" inside broke open very easily and ones that were more solid all the way through were very difficult to break open. 

We noticed some crystals are long and stringy, others are small and bumpy and some just look like sparkly rocks. 

They used math to determine how many geodes they could each break.  It was Ian's kit but since 10 geodes were in the box he offered to let his brothers break open 3 leaving him with 4.  All the boys agreed that was fair.  

They had so much fun that once the geodes were all gone they started looking around for rocks in our yard and breaking those open to see what the inside looks like. 

They compared shiny rocks to rocks with layers. 

They compared colors found inside the rocks and the sizes and shapes different rocks broke into.

 It was a wonderful morning of discovery. 










Breaking open "regular" rocks 




Later in the afternoon, I found Alec breaking open smaller rocks using great big rocks.  He ended up coming in asking for the hammer and spent a good portion of the day checking out the insides of the rocks. 

I watched him from the window for quite a while but he wore glasses and was being pretty careful.  He found all sorts of lovely little flowers and things to inspect while he was out there and brought them in bit by bit to save or press into books for another day.

 I know we've hit upon a fun science lesson when the boys want to continue with it later in the day, on their own, during "play" time!         

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