June 16, 2010

Even Space Leads to Dinosaurs!

While we were milling around the library last week, the kids decided that this would be space week!  We loaded up on space books and I spent the weekend planning fun activities.  We barely got into our first book when what should we see?  Dinosaurs!

What are dinosaurs doing in a space book?  The KT Event!  That's what!  The KT Event has been of special interest to Hannah Jane since she was about 3 years old.  She went through a period where she would tell random check out ladies about it.  So of course we had to stop and talk about it.  I thought she had a firm understanding of it, but I found out otherwise as I allowed Hannah Jane to explain it to the boys.

As I listened, I realized that she believed that the big old rock that may or may not have hit the earth was so big that it actually squished each dinosaur to death.  We smashed two balls together and showed how difficult, how impossible it would be for anything, no matter how big, to smash more than a speck of the earth.

"Well, how then?  How did one smashed spot kill everything?"  they all asked?

I tried to explain how a big enough smash could kick up enough debris into the air that it made the air hard to breathe or made a cloud of yuck that was big enough to block out the sun's rays.  This brought us back to space, thankfully!  I asked about what all on earth depends on the sun for survival.  "Just plants...right?"  they answered.  So I asked who eats the plants, who eats the animals that eat the plants, and so on and so forth.  I mentioned the while vitamin D thing, but that was not obvious enough to matter to the kids.

They still were not convinced about debris kicking up into the atmosphere.  This called for a small, slightly inaccurate demonstration.  Now...what to do?  Haha!  Here's what we came up with!

I know...not perfectly accurate.  But, seeing the dino all covered in flour even though she didn't get hit by the flying rock made enough of a point.  We had so much fun, they asked to do it the next 2 days in a row.  And we did!

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