Sunday, January 22, 2012

Philosophy and chemical reactions

We continued learning about ancient Greece this week.  I had wanted to teach my kids about the Greek philosophers (kind of a daunting task) and got all the children's books from the library I could (which I always do...the librarian told me awhile ago "We gave you your own bin for all your holds.") and I found the best book for kids:

It tells so simply the most important things about Socrates, and he tells it in a cute way.  I wish more historical writers for children realized that often less is more.

We talked about how important "ideas" are and how coins are just an idea.  We learned how trading was the main way of buying and selling until the Greeks (inspired by others) really made coin currency popular.

We made our own coins....okay people (and I know some people read this, because even though no one leaves comments, people come up to me and tell me they've read this...) how lucky was this?.....I was planning all my activities for the semester and realized I wanted to do something with greek coins and went to the second hand store and found ceramic unpainted medallions with zodiac symbols on them!  Random yet perfect!

We also learned about Alexander the Great...not the greatest story in my opinion, but important, and we made Pharos lighthouses  in his honour, complete with real candles being magnified by mirrors.

For Science we learned about Chemical reactions and what effects them.  Light (showed how paper had faded in the sun.)  Heat (hard boiled eggs in warm water vs. hot water) Surface area (thick french fries vs. thin french fries) How condensed something is (fabric dyed in water with hardly any dye vs water with lots of dye) are all ways chemical reactions can be effected.  And of course, they are effected by catalysts.....and what better way to show a catalyst then Mentos in soda!.....I found out the hard way that Coke is the only soda that works really well for this experiment....don't buy orange pop instead.

But it still worked a bit.....

And for field trip Maxwell had a birthday party!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAXWELL!

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