Monday, January 31, 2011

Earth Science: Layers of the Earth Hands-on Activity

Just adding this in on Tuesday: I found out today that I have Pneumonia which is why I've been feeling ever so lousy.

I first saw this activity last year at The Learning Ark. It fit in perfectly with our Earth Science unit. There is also a similar activity using a hard-boiled egg in the book we are using for this unit, How the Earth Works by Michelle O'Brien-Palmer.  One of the other books we are using, Planet Earth/Inside Out by Gail Gibbons, had some really good description and discussion of the layers of the earth. We used those books along with cards from Free to talk about the inner core, out core, mantle and crust.

As we read about each layer, we colored playdough and added a new layer.  We started with a small sphere. We kept adding layers until the ball was covered by the crust:
Then LD looked at the globe and tried to add the continents and oceans.  Would you believe, poor LD's place of birth, Australia, didn't really fit onto his globe??!  He stuck on a tiny, tiny piece of green playdough but it wasn't much to scale!
Then LD wondered what we'd do with it.  His eyes got wide when I pulled out a butcher knife!
But he got right into slicing the world apart!
We were pretty excited by the results. The layers showed up really clearly!
And we could even talk about how different areas were thicker and thinner.

Just to mention--I made a large pot of playdough for the girls in the morning and we added the colors later in the day.  If you don't add the colors when you're first making playdough BE SURE to wear gloves!!
EARLIER IN THE DAY: The girls were happy with a very light pink -- and this worked well for our layers of the earth colors later.  Even the inner core looks pretty yellow (the color we decided upon).

We'll be sharing a few more of our Earth Science Activities in the next couple of days.


We have a 150+ page Earth Science Unit!

Earth Science Packet  150+ pages

Our Earth Science Unit covers the solar system, the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, the ring of fire, faults, earthquakes, volcanoes and more.

It also includes instructions for more than a dozen hands-on activities we did with this unit. This includes activities about plate tectonics, convection currents, using a compass, earthquakes, volcanoes,  instructions on how to make a shake table and more!

Our packet is $9.99. 

We did this unit twice: My kids were in Grades 1, 4, and 6 when we did this unit the first time. They were in Grades 4, 7 and 9 when we covered it again (and added to the packet!).

Scroll down for more pictures and information!

When you click on the Buy Now button below, it will take you to Paypal. Upon receipt of payment you will immediately get a link to download this pdf in your browser. You will also receive an email from SendOwl Downloads to your PayPal email address which will give you a link to download.  Be sure to check your spam folder if that email doesn't appear.

Remember, you do not have to have a Paypal account to make a payment. Just click on the line that says, "Pay with a debit or credit card or PayPal credit." That gives you the option of paying with a credit card even if you don't have an actual Paypal account.
If you have any trouble with your order, please contact me (Liesl)  via email liesl at homeschoolden dot com or via our contact page or by replying to the email you receive from Sendowl.  ~Liesl


Don't forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

More pictures of what is included:

Pangaea and Plate Movement Activities  
Types of Plate Boundaries
The types of earthquake waves


In this unit, we especially liked these resources. These are affiliate links:

Hope you visit our new location at (the links above take you there!) or come visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. :) ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

P.S. We have lots of other units. Here are the links to check those out

Hope you visit our new location at (the links above take you there!) or come visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. :) ~Liesl

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Save the Egg Penguin Game -- and -- Antarctic Animal Game

DD enjoyed this penguin computer game.  The object was to move your penguin around to keep the egg warm by avoiding the other penguins and obstacles or predators that might get in your way.  Here's the link:

Also at the national geographic website was a crittercam game. She had to spot the various animals of Antarctica -- the Emperor Penguin, krill, skua and other things. 

Finally, she played a continent game.  The game flashes a continent. You copy it. Then it adds a second -- you copy those two. Then three, etc.

Arctic Animal Science Journal , Penguin Unit and other Freebies

If you are working on Arctic Animals, this first grade teacher made a very cute science journal which incorporates polar bears, penguins, walruses, the arctic fox and snowy owl: Oceans of First Grade Fun. (The link no longer works.)
She also has a set of penguin "What Comes Between" math cards. The child has to place the number that comes in between 31 __ 33 or 36 __ 38.  What's nice for us is that they are in a penguin theme and are perfect for DD. We'll stick this activity into her penguin lapbook.

Another really cute unit is this Penguin Unit (No longer available) for tots and preschoolers. Although I found it clicking around in 4Shared, I managed to find the original blog posting here and download link from  MooMooTutu's blog (No longer available) and also see that is linked from Frogs Bees Under the Seas. (No longer available) Thank you for sharing such cute work!!

If you're looking for winter-themed activities to download for your tot or preschooler here are some links.I loved the snowman unit shared by Musings of Me. (No longer available) Wow! I'm so thankful for all fabulous work others have shared.

Update! I'm so sorry to say that many of the links and resources that I originally shared in this post are no longer available. 

If you are interested, I created a Winter Packet a year or so ago. You can find out more at this post. ~Liesl, 
Click here to find out more about our  Winter Packet.

You might also be interested in the cute resources that go along with The Mitten, a wonderful book about animals in the winter by Jan Brett.

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :)

 Homeschool Den Store

Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Our entire family needs a collective sigh of relief.  We've been hammered and as a result we're just plain tired.  Let's see, so I wrote about the furnace going out. Then LD got a virus.  Well, the day he felt better, I got a slightly different virus. I was so sick I had to call Dad home from work (last Friday).  By midafternoon I couldn't get out of bed.  I was in bed for two days.  Then as I got better (meaning I could get out of bed, but still have an achy head/full ears/raspy cough), the girls and LD came down with my virus.  And Dad came down with my virus.  ED in particular needed me day and night.  The kids slept day and night on Monday and Tuesday. They started to feel better yesterday (as did Dad). 
Then a snowstorm hit.  
Dad left around 4:30 from work.  We kept tabs on him as he inched forward along slick roads.  We lost power, heat and water so we all piled in the homeschool room in front of the fireplace.  Dad arrived home from work at 12:30AM!!!!  My muscles are achy because I spent so much time shoveling.  Remember that organized feeling I had?? Right out the window. I still have a headache (from the virus) and sinus pressure, I'm tired and feeling ever so not inspired by anything.  The only school stuff we've done in a while is reading and math. (And more reading, and more reading.) I think *my* sense of satisfaction is often tied to feeling like our homeschooling is inspiring, fun, creative and engaging.  When it's not??  Then I'm plagued with all those niggling feelings that we're not doing enough (?? what does that mean anyway?!)... all the stuff you vent and release to your friends, but can't because you're homebound sick.  Sigh...
I came back to add in the snowstorm picture. Enough of my complaints.  Goodness, isn't nature beautiful, awesome and inspiring? 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Penguin Unit

It's taken a while to sort through my pictures to show what we have been doing with our penguin unit.  Most of the activities were for ED, though there were a few sprinkled in for DD and LD as you'll see. DD has been working diligently on a penguin/Antarctica lapbook.  We'll share pictures of that soon.

So here's the first cute activity. I took bottle cap letters from Confessions of a Homeschooler and glued them to the bottom of these cute ornaments from the craft store.  I printed out a few penguin letter sheets from Communication4all

I set them up on the table in the mornings, but then need to put them back in her workbox or the penguins go walking!

Along those same lines, I printed out the penguin numbers from communication4all and had ED feed the penguin the number of fishes it wants.  Then ED gets to help eat them. You can also find penguin numbers at Making Learning Fun.
ED just loves do-a-dot pages right now. This is from Making Learning Fun.  You could have your child cover the circles with pennies or magnets instead.
This lacing card is from Activity Village

Penguin hat color matching -- from
stickers from oriental trading
a wooden penguin mask on sale for 50cents at Joann Fabrics
We read a number of penguin related books together.  The girls LOVED Cuddly Dudley.  We've read it at least 15 times if not more, often twice in a row!

The Emperor's Egg is a non-fiction type book explaining how the male penguin cares for the egg. This was a wonderful book and led right into our penguin-care activity below!

The kids tried to walk with an egg on their feet (you have to look closely at the picture. It doesn't show up very well.)  LD was able to do it for a very short distance, but once he put it on his tummy, he raced around the room!
We had to watch some of this amazing film -- March of the Penguins! The kids were sad when the egg rolled onto the ice and the film showed the egg freezing and cracking.
As I mentioned, DD has been working very hard on her penguin/Antarctica lapbook. We'll share more about that soon.