Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Natural History Museum

We went to check out a local Natural History Museum today.  We had never been and we were excited to see what it was all about. We were meeting up with another homeschooling family and looking forward to having some fun.

On our drive there we listened to some more of our book on CD; The Candymakers.  We finally heard back from our local candy store/ company and were told they don't offer tours of their factory.  We can watch them make molded chocolate candy or dipped treats but since we've made our own chocolates from molds and are making dipped pretzels we decided it wasn't worth the drive.  We talked about possible places we could visit to see candy being made and even toyed with the idea of watching some YouTube videos.  We were all a bit disappointed and since we only  have two disks left in our book it's something I'd like to get to fairly soon.


 We arrived at the museum and paid our admission. They had clipboards and pencils available along with several scavenger hunt worksheets for the boys to chose from.

We spent our time waiting for our friends by filling out the answers to the displays in the lobby.

We saw:

  •  Asian art
  • marble statues
  • butterfly and bird displays
  • a bell from Korea
  • a painting of Copernicus
  • native american pottery
  • early weaponry
  • a display of art from Oceania that reminded us of the Polynesian resort at Walt Disney World
 Alec thought one of the birds on display might be an extinct species so he used my phone and looked up the bird on Google reading more about the animal and that is of "least concern."  He also was overjoyed to find the Luna moth on display.

He told me the story behind the woman in the statue since the description on the sign was vague and he had read that story as part of his Greek God study.




Checking out the butterflies and moths 

Evan was taken with the bell and pointed out all the
dragons and Korean letters printed around it. 

Our friends arrived and the kids all had so much fun exploring the whole museum.  It was pretty small and there weren't a ton of hands on things for the kids to do so we covered the entire museum in two hours but I think the kids learned quite a lot.

The day was filled with history, science, and geography lessons.  


Science:

  • We read about the black bear
  • Got to see and feel all the layers of an astronaut's space suit
  • We learned about our solar system and outer space
  • The kids all had a fun playing with the plasma ball
  •  We observed light through a "space" tunnel and compared it to light that wasn't filtered through debris and dust
  • They looked at thread and colors under a microscope
  • Looked at all the minerals found on Earth 
  • Compared neon and helium lights
  • Evan learned we are part of the Milky Way galaxy while Alec and Evan read about colliding galaxies.

Geography:

  • We learned about Oceania and the three regions that make up that area-- Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia.  
  • We saw tools like spears, fishing hooks, mallets and paddles on display.  
  • We looked at what looked like cloth and learned it was made out of tree bark!  
  • We saw many taxidermy animals from that region and learned that they had to have migrated over from nearby mainlands.  
  • We got to see and feel rock made from a volcano on Hawaii.  
  • Evan was really taken with all the spears. Some were so tall they touched the ceiling and may of them were embellished with shark teeth!



Tapa Cloth 

All the fishing hooks and strings on display were made of found materials like shark teeth, talons, and shells 
More Science:

We found a room with even more taxidermy animals.
  • Evan was really taken with the mamma lion and her cubs.  
  • Ian and I watched the beehive and talked about them.  
  • We all observed the many birds and minerals displayed.  
  • We looked at fossilized plants and fish and Ian reminded me of another time we've learned about fossilized remains.  
  • It was pretty neat to see an owl with it's wings out and realize how large all these animals are up close and in real life.  
  • We couldn't believe the size of the lion's head and claws, the teeth on the grizzly bear, and the length of the bird's wings. 
  •  Alec read about owls and made an owl craft.


The lion and her cubs 

Birds of prey and a fisher 

The snowy owl with other assorted waterfowl 
History:

  We also learned about the changes in Earth over time.


  • We learned about early marine life and the different eras; Mesozoic, Paleozoic, etc.  
  • We learned about the layers of the Earth and got to see a polar bear and her cub up close.  
  • We also saw koala bears, penguins, birds, and more.  
  • Alec studied a poster about the changes in the continents starting from Pangaea right up through now.  
  • All the kids tried to determine how old the tree was that had a slice on display.







All the kids were trying to count the rings at the same time! 


The last room was all about Africa and I could tell they were all getting a bit sick of looking at displays and reading signs.  Though Evan did admit he was reading the signs.  He read many labels to me today and finally admitted it wasn't guessing but reading.  He, however, was quick to remind me that reading a few signs was nothing like being able to read a chapter book.  I guess he has pretty lofty goals for himself.  I tried to point out how far he's come this past year but he wouldn't hear any of it.


  • We went on to learn about the indigenous people of Africa and the animals that live there.  
  • We read about the African gray parrot and the leopard. 
  • We saw samples of cloth and leather work and looked at all the different patterns.  
They were all eager to turn in their questionnaires and receive a prize.    Ian and Evan picked out a mystery poster while Alec chose a small ball.  Ian opened his poster up right away and saw that it was a poster of space.  Evan wanted to keep his a surprise until we arrived home.



They have such pretty paintings everywhere; this was a small portion of one on the ceiling! 
  It was such a great trip for only a couple of dollars each for admission it was well worth the price!

Linking Up With:

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

3 comments :

  1. Looks bigger than I had imagined it to be! Can't wait to go now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this looks like a great place! TFS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was quite the gem. The admission was only like $3 each or something like that and it's a pretty small building so we were skeptical to try it out but we had fun.

      Delete