The prior week we had discussed the earth and how the center of it was really hard, like a rock!
So, to continue that theme for this lab we had a geological extravaganza!!
We talked a little bit about rocks and gems, and then we played a few games! Using gems that did in fact come from a gem mine in North Carolina, I created game cards so that individuals or groups could play together and match either color or picture identifications of them gems. The kids had a really great time. We played the games as individuals and as teams to help foster team building skills. We also played them at our own pace, and then timed to add a little more thrill to it.
Then everyone had a chance to go outside and mine their own gem! We talked about how at a gem mine they use a flowing water system and a sieve that helps wash away the dirt, but keep the gems. We talked about how this works and how the size of the dirt and gems in this case made all the difference! The students took a strainer and a scoop of dirty sand and gently used the water to see if they had a gem. Amazingly each student found one!!
Then we used our Discovery Classroom magnifying glasses to carefully observe the rocks that we had found. All of the kids were pretty excited to take their discovery home to show their families.
For our younger classes a sensory bin was set up that contained both wet and dry sand for different textures, and hidden throughout the bin were really large gems. The kids could find them by using strainers, scoops, or even shovels.
It was a fun lab, I think the kids ‘dug’ it. (Come on… you know you laughed!)