Sunday, May 2, 2010

M4 - April Week 4


Earthquakes and Building Structures

We studied about earthquakes a while ago, after the Haiti earthquake.  But they seem to keep happening, so we spent some more time studying them.

Here are some words Mom told me about:  Fault Lines, Magnitude, Seismograph, Epicenter, Richter Scale.

We checked out a fault-line map of the US.  We are in the orange zone - wow!  If the dirt had been a little dryer that day, we might have tried this fault-line demonstration.  Instead, we spent some time checking out the FEMA little ones site, listening to stories there - like how earthquakes are caused by turtles moving...

Mom asked if building height would impact stability.  Big words, huh?  So what we did was create towers of different heights with my mega blocks.  We threw in a couple of other variables, too - like single-wides, double-wides, wheels, squares, and a big foundation.  Here I am calling Elmo to find out if he has any suggestions.

Then we shook the table, like an earthquake.  And most of the buildings came tumbling down.

It was interesting that height didn't matter!  All the single- and double-wides fell over right away, whether they were one block high or six blocks high.  The square-based building stayed upright, and the six-block-high single-wide that was based (anchored) on a wide platform stayed upright, even though it swayed immensely during the quake.

So it has to do with foundation, not with height, at least in our very limited experiment.


Dissecting Dirt

This was really simple.  Mom brought in a pan of dirt from outside.  I dissected it with my knives and sticks.  We sorted out rocks from organic material, etc.  Who knew there was so much in a handful of dirt?!  No earthworms in our sample, unfortunately.


We went frog hunting in our orchard.  But we didn't find any frogs, just snakes.  Our neighbors said we should try in the evening...

I put frog life cycle cards in the right order.

And we talked about what frogs eat.  They really eat dragonflies.  We made this file folder game where I had to feed each frog its matching dragonfly.  It was a little bit complicated (but not very) because you had to match two colors, not just one.

Daddy made some origami jumping frogs.  I colored them and caught them in my butterfly net.

A lot more frog links here:   
And Me


We looked at bones in my book, The Human Body by Stacy Savran.  I've got bones ALL over my body!  And we watched this song by Stanley the Skeleton.

I checked out a cow bone.  It is very hard!

Mom took a tracing of me and painted the outline yellow.  I was supposed to paint bones inside, but I ended up painting lots of red blood cells, too.  Head start on another week, huh?
abc button


Ticia said...

How cool to have access to a cow bone! We've looked at chickens before, but I hadn't thought of cow bones.
Great activities as always.