June 5, 2012

Volcano Week

Summer seems like the best time for thematic studies in our house because the formal curriculum is mostly on hold until fall (several of the kids' core classes are now from online public school because it's  free and the materials are awesome), so we keep on keeping on with the basics of math and spelling, but we fill in the gaps with whatever the kids' little hearts desire.  This week they picked volcanoes!

They filled out their KWL (Know, Want to Know, Learned) charts with everything they know about volcanoes and everything they want to know before we're done.  We'll leave the Learned column blank until Friday.  Hopefully they'll have plenty to write in there.

We were inspired by this pinterest picture, but it's a dead end link so I did some diging and found directions for making a volcano in a mug here.  I don't knoe if our wax was too dense, or what, but we never got the image we were seeking.  Instead, once we dumped out the water, we did see a purple volcano (thank you, crayola play sand) with magma below and lava bubbled up on top.  

Hannah Jane was sure the glass was going to explode (and couldn't really offer any guarantees) so they all stayed way back behind the bar, waiting for something cool to happen.   

Here's what we had after we dumped the water.  Cool, but not crazy impressive.  

We made up for the major lack of excitement in the glass with a cool volcano art project inspired by this piece that I found, where else but Pinterest!

I outlined the volcano and lines between which they could write their descriptive words (sneaky little language arts project, eh?)

Then they went over everything in black marker and outlined the main volcano and flames several times until they ran over the edge.  

And then colored in the white sections with yellow, red, and gray.  

Pretty cool finished project!  They were all super proud of their creations!

We've watched a few documentaries on Hulu and a ton of books from the library.  Hannah Jane is reading Vacation Under the Volcano to the boys for her daily reading.  They are loving that!  Tomorrow we'll be looking at how volcanoes shape the earth and eating a volcano themed lunch!  Yipee!


  1. Okay how old is Haven?! Did he write his own words? I'm in a bit of a bind because Zorion (3 years and 9 months almost) is really wanting to write and I don't know if I should be "teaching" him yet (ie helping him make letters when he asks) or just let him do whatever he wants. Sorry I dont mean to ask you another question hehe but when I saw this, I can't help but wonder how young is too young... I don't want to push him or start too early (the whole fear of starting too early as instilled by all the Steiner info out there). Super cute last photo by the way!

  2. Haha! Oh, the fears of motherhood! Haven will be 5 next week. He's a pretty decent writer, actually, and does some copy work every day, but in the volcano, I had him dictate the words, I wrote them in pencil, and he went over them in marker. I say that when they are interested, gently indulge that. Haven has atrocious hand writing compared to what perfect handwriting should be, but he's pretty good for a little guy and I think it's just because each morning when we do grammar copy work, he copies the sentence off the board too, and attempts to label all of the parts of speech. His grammar labeling is ALWAYS wrong, but he wants to be like the big kids, so we indulge and I think being the tag-along has its advantages in terms of early exposure without anyone ever saying, "Hey, you should know this!" He learns because he wants to, and that's how we like it. The older two don't have that luxury, unfortunately, but there are lots of advantages to being older and this is Haven's perk for being little.

  3. Thanks for sharing :-D


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