The Rock Unit was our favorite because of the really great field trips we were able to take for this unit. We got to climb a rocky mountain, see all the rocks at a rock shop, visit the Hot Springs bathhouses, take a Geology Tour of the Hot Springs with a park ranger, and dig for Crystals in NE Arkansas. We had also planned to go to a jeweler’s and watch him use the lapidary, but we weren’t able to get that done in our time-frame. I keep a running list of “leftover” field trips that we couldn’t get to on each unit so that maybe one day we can get them done. I got a few of last year’s “leftovers” done this year.
I usually have a whole lot of photos to share on these posts, but this time, I already had put a few in posts due to the fact that we were blogging WHILE I did this unit. My Rock Unit post from last year has plenty of interesting things on it… including my son’s Volcano artwork. I plan to get that framed as soon as he gets his own room again. Hopefully that will be soon.
The Hot Springs Geology tour was great. This is just one of my favorite photos from the trip. Next Friday, I’ll be starting up Field Trip Foto Friday again and I’m sure that the Hot Springs Geo Trip will be top on the list… and possibly be the first of the 2005-6 Field trips that get reviewed for the school year. Be sure to check back then for more fun photos from that trip. I’ve been saving them this whole time for a field trip review! Finally, I’m getting to blog about them!
Below are some photos that we included in our Rock Lapbook of Kaden’s rocks and minerals. We actually took a box of rocks that belonged to our boy back to Texas to the storage unit last fall. Included were these rocks. He saw this photo today and pined over them. “OH, I miss that one! And that one!” he whined. The problem with Kaden is that he doesn’t know when to stop when it comes to rocks. We were hurting the next morning after lifting the box of them twice from the apartment to the trailer and from the trailer to the storage unit. It took his daddy and I BOTH to lift the thing. It felt like we were carrying all of Pinnacle Mountain back to Texas. I’m sure we got better gas mileage on our way home – partially due to THAT BOX OF ROCKS not being in the back.
Probably the most fun of all of the field trips was the one my husband asked (when we got there), “So… um… why are we here again?” It was in the wilderness of NE Arkansas – North of Hot Springs… in a little place called Jessieville. We had to throw our shoes away because they were ruined after a day in the red clay. We came home with bags and bags of quartz crystals, though. It was really neat to see the kids getting excited (as if they had found diamonds instead). Speaking of diamonds… they have a Diamond dig here in Arkansas, too. Good luck finding something (it is rarer than they let on!): Crater of Diamonds State Park. I’d love to go there before we move away from here (it’s on my “leftover list”). It is packed after school lets out. A friend of mine is going this weekend and they said that there were only 2 sites left at the camp when they called. We read the National Geographic article about the Diamond trade in Africa and the back of the magazine had a little article about a woman who found a $30,000 diamond here at the park (one of the largest ones). Not bad for a small digging fee, some sweat and a sunburn.
Of course, being a craft and art lover, I enjoyed the rock painting part of our unit also. The kids like to paint and draw. I did these two rocks. I have pictures of the rest of our “masterpiece collection” on flickr. Notice the license plate on my rock school-bus if you happen to go check them out.
Check back later for more photos from our Rock field trips in my future Field Trip Foto Friday series… (on Fridays, of course).
Other Quick Links:Sprittibee’s Homeschool Series (Links for field trip lists, book lists, other years…)
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