Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Unit Study: Rocks, Volcanoes, Earthquakes

We just wrapped up a study that began with rocks and minerals and led to volcanoes and earthquakes.  It was a fun and informative month or so for my boys and myself.

IMG_7420 When we began the rock study I found this poster for our bulletin board and some sample rocks at Rainbow Resource.  Next to the poster I put up some 3x5 cards with facts about the 3 kinds of rocks.

IMG_7421 IMG_7422

This is the area under our bulletin board where I set up our workbox system.  We are not currently using the workboxes, so I made the top level of the cart a kind of science center to display the rocks and books we were using in the study.  Even if we go back to workboxes I think I will keep this system in place…I often found the boys exploring the center and reading the books on their own.

IMG_7423 IMG_7424

Here are some pics of ds3’s journal/scrapbook pages, all components found at homeschoolshare.comJust to let you know, I did buy the “project pack” Rodney Rockhound’s Rocks & Minerals from In The Hands Of A Child, but wound up not using any of it.  It was just too simplistic and not in line with what we were doing.  I am not knocking the product or the company, just saying that it didn’t work for our purposes.

We used a lot of internet sources for our studies.  Here is a link for a great site with several free PowerPoint presentations about the earth and it’s layers.  We visited this site to get a good look at black smokers (underwater volcanoes.)  And this site had great info on mountains and volcanoes.

Besides our research books we found several good readers to go along with our study.  The Magic School Bus series Inside The Earth has a companion cd we had great fun playing around with.  We also read the Magic Tree House series Earthquake in the Early Morning and Vacation Under the Volcano.  I am using the widget below just to show you the resources…I am not affiliated with Amazon.

For the “finale” of our studies we made a volcano!  We followed the very easy instructions at this site.

IMG_7410 Here are my boys painting the volcano.

IMG_7412 Ds2 made us wait until he got home from high school to make it erupt lol.

IMG_7415 Thar she blows!  Notice the rocks along the bottom of the volcano.  Ds4 decided to add these in from our collection and when he did ds3 asks, “Are those the igneous rocks?”  I was so proud that he remembered that igneous rocks are formed from cooled lava and that he wanted the display to be accurate.  :)

We had a great time with this study.  I am trying to put together a unit on energy, force and motion next but it’s still in the very early planning stage.  ;)


  1. That sounds like a lot of fun. I love to make those volcanoes too.

  2. The scrapbooks look like they were fun to make. It's great seeing an entire unit come together. Check out some great supplies at


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