Earth Science


IMG_1364The theme for the Unique Curriculum is earth science this month so we tied our groups to go along with the theme. Cara wrote another great book and found some great pictures to go along with it.

Our students were AMAZED 🙂








IMG_1485When we got to the page about rain, we used our spray bottle to mist water up into the air to then fall gently down on the students. They LOVED this part and needless to say there were lots of giggles AND lots of opportunities for them to request “more”—-one of their math access and language points!!!

Do we make learning FUN or what???!!!! 🙂







Sensory Group—

IMG_1415The surface of our earth is covered by a variety of plant life. In this box we put in silk leaves, easter grass, plastic trees, flowers to represent all the different plants to be found. We loved these bright and colorful sunflowers!

We  included yarn pieces and beads in the colors of green and brown. The sun and moon affect our planet so we also put in a moon shaped cookie cutter and little wooden sun.

IMG_1248Finally a little globe was included—our earth!

This box addresses the science access point of recognizing common objects related to science by name, such as a plant. It also addresses the science access point of recognizing a model of a real object.

Noting that the globe is a sphere addresses the math access point of recognizing a 3 dimensional shape!





IMG_1430Wind is one of the forces that affects the surface of our earth. We created our own windstorm using our little battery operated fans.

We had some different reactions to the tactile feel of the blowing air—-some of our students loved it and couldn’t wait to push the buttons themselves—-others had to think about it for a while 🙂

They were also pretty fascinated by the soft spinning blades!

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point.







IMG_1386IMG_1258Underneath all the plants and trees is soil.

We buried 3 circular puzzle pieces for our students to find and they loved pushing aside the coffee ground soil to find them—-and then pushing the grounds back to cover them back up 🙂

This box addresses the math access point of recognizing a 2 dimensional shape.




IMG_1375Digging down deep enough into the earth’s crust and you will find layers and layers of different rocks—-just like our mixed beans!

E is for Earth!  We put in some letter E’s to find and match—-and then bury again!

We included a measuring spoon for some scooping fun, although most students prefer to run their hands through the beans for that wonderful tactile feel that they have.

Now we do try to keep a close eye on students when they have the bean box—to make sure there is no “sampling” but also to watch for our little scientists who want to see if gravity REALLY works with handfuls of beans 🙂








IMG_1253IMG_1570We used this grey floam to represent our earths mantle which is one of the many layers that form our planet. By squishing it together, our students could form it into a hard ball, kind of like the hard rock that makes up the mantle.

This floam is pretty cool stuff and everyone, adults included, is pretty fascinated by it.

Forming the ball is great for building hand strength, bilateral coordination, and palmer arches.

Of course our ball of floam can also be called a “sphere” and recognizing 3 dimensional shapes is one of our math access points!





IMG_1589Digging down still deeper we will get to earth’s liquid core! We mixed yellow and red food coloring with our shaving cream to make our lava. What fun to mix it all together and come out with this fabulous orange lava!

This addresses the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.

Its also a great opportunity to practice prewriting skills with a wonderful tactile experience.







IMG_1232The earth has a magnetic field. We used a magnet discovery bottle to help our students learn about magnetism……it really is pretty fascinating to watch the magnetic wand “capture” the little metal pieces inside the bottle!

Its also a great activity for bilateral coordination.

The science access point of tracking the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is addressed here.







IMG_1579IMG_1602Finally we rinsed our hands in Ocean scented water from Bath and Bodyworks and then used the matching lotion to help us remember all the cool things we learned about our planet today!

Our little ocean had 2 different sized measuring cups to address the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.

Exploring the aroma of the lotion addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.




Fine Motor—

IMG_1310On Tuesday we thought making a volcano would be a great art project for our students. We started by turning our brown rectangle into a triangle by using our paper cutter to cut the 3 sides—counting each side as we cut.

Then we glued in onto our blue rectangle paper.

Recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point.










IMG_1323Now for the really fun bit—the lava! We mixed glue, shaving cream, and orange paint to make our lava. We wanted a three dimensional tactile texture and this stuff turns out just like puffy paint when it dries—-if you haven’t tried this concoction you really should!

Our students did a great job using their brushes to spread the mixture. They are spending more time painting and visually attending to their projects—we are so proud 🙂

This activity addresses spatial relations and eye hand coordination.







IMG_1340IMG_1330We had lots of Ta Da’s as usual.

Don’t these volcanos look SO COOL!!!!!!

Some of them were so proud of themselves they asked for hugs also—

needless to say we obliged 🙂







On Thursday we continued our explorations of earth science with our next art project. We started with a blue circle—addressing the math access point of recognizing a 2 dimensional shape again! We are going to make a picture of our earth.

IMG_1474Tissue paper was then torn and crumpled and glued onto the blue circle—to make some continents.

Tearing and crumpling the paper promotes bilateral coordination and addresses the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.











IMG_1452We asked the students to identify the colors of the paper we used today. Identifying an object by one observable property (in this case color) is a science access point.

Are students are just so smart!!!!









IMG_1479TA DA!!!!












Language Group—

We decided to make a visual of the Earth’s different layers.  We found this idea on and thought it would be PERFECT, as well as lots of fun.  The students had to follow the directions which consisted of PIXON symbols, Boardmaker symbols, and real pictures.

IMG_1498Since the pictures depicting the Earth’s layers are color coded, we decided to base our visual support off of some of the pictures we found.  We started with 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap.  The dish soap was pink and we added a little red food coloring to it to show how hot the Earth’s inner core is.

Graded motor control and eye hand coordination are needed to pour the liquid from the measuring cup into the jar.

Recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities is a math access point.

Throughout this activity we are also addressing the math access point of solving problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more.





IMG_1505For the next layer, the outer core, we used 1/4 cup of water.  We dropped red and yellow food coloring in the water in order to make orange.  Since our visually impaired students could not see the color changes they participated by being in charge of shaking the liquid (we used a lidded juice bottle).

They really enjoyed this bit 🙂

The science access points of applying a push or pull to move an object and recognizing a change in an object are addressed here.










IMG_1518Now, as scientists conducting experiments, sometimes things don’t go QUITE like you had planned——-  after putting the water in, we did not see any distinct layers!  We couldn’t figure out what we did wrong—- so we decided to start over and use karo syrup at the bottom instead of the dish soap.

Although the colors were very similar in appearance when in the jar, you could see a little more layering than before.

The third layer, or the mantle, consisted of 1/4 cup vegetable oil.  We did not add any coloring since it was already yellow.

On an added note, it is important to pour the liquids SLOWLY—a funnel helps.






IMG_1524IMG_1532For the last layer which is the crust, we used 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol which we colored blue.  The students seemed to LOVE watching the liquids separate into different layers, and the adults enjoyed it too!

All in all, the experiment was a success AND we learned some new words!

We turned off the lights and held a flashlight behind the jar to really see the layers.

Science experiments are just so FUN!!!



Join us again next week for our final groups of this school year—

IMG_1551Its going to be filled with more fun things to learn and discover—–Group by Group 🙂

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