English Club : What Can We Make From Our Soil?

The answer is, shepherds pie! 😄

I had planned to do other activities with our soil in the garden, but it was pouring with rain, so I had to change my plans.

I decided to get the group to make a traditional english dish ‘shepherds pie’ for dinner…


And what has this to do with ‘earth’ ?

Everything in this recipe is either grown in the earth, or is food which is grown in the earth, used to feed the animal in the recipe (cow). 😃

Earth (soil) is very important to us!

English Club : Sedimentary Rocks

This week we learnt about what a sedimentary rock was, how it becomes one, and what it is made up of.

We took clay, sand, gravel and water, and put them in a lidded jar, shook them up, and watched them settle, to see how sediment settles in the real world…


We will observe this again next week.

We also made a mixture of flour, sand, salt, water and oil, to make a dough, as our ‘rock’, to which we added different coloured ingredients   (cocoa powder, pepper, paprika and tumeric), which we then squashed together, to show how our sedimentary rock is layered. 


We talked about how rocks get weathered (through sun, ice and wind), and eroded through being moved and broken in various ways. Then how the tiny rocks settle on the land or on the sea bottom, and eventually become new rocks – sedimentary rocks – natures way of recycling. 

We also continued adding the dissolved alum and food colouring to our egg geode experiment from last week… 😄

The Last Two Weeks…

Over the last two weeks, we have also….

….been to the optician…


…to get Maya’s gorgeous new glasses…


We have been on a ‘frog watch’ (it was pouring with rain but Alfie and Lilly saw around six)…


…and have watched Maya as an excellent actress in the theatre festival….


Ted and I had a trip to the garden centre…


…and we briefly enjoyed Spring (before it turned cold again, poured with rain and even snowed!)…


Ted also enjoyed a burger….


..an ice-cream after swimming…


…and a trip to the train museum with friends…


I enjoyed a scout hike at the weekend (as did Alfie briefly before he went home due to the cold!)…


Maya, Alfie and I celebrated St. George at the church with the scouts…



…and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Alfie do his ‘knot badge’ at scouts…


…teach his friend Lilly….


….as well as enjoy taking part in building and lighting the fire….


…and let’s not forget Leon, who is busy putting together copious lego sets…imcluding the millenium falcon!!! 😳😄

English Club : Geodes

What is a geode? A geode is a rock which has holes in, through which minerals have flowed through in water, and thus formed crystals inside. A process that can take millions of years.

The kids observed some geodes…


…before opening their own (a process that took 2 minutes with one geode, and 40 minutes – and a lot of teamwork, with the other!)….


We then went on to start our egg geode experiment, using alum, which we would continue the next week..

English Club : Clay

The younger english club group (10 – 12 year olds) have now moved on from ‘fire’ to ‘earth’, in their topic of ‘The elements’.

I asked them – what do we find in our soil in the garden? The answers varied, from water, to dirt, to clay, to sand, and to insects.

So we started with clay. To feel it, play with it, describe it….


The kids loved this! 😄

English Club : Igneous Rocks

What is an igneous rock? That was the question that was asked .

I explained that an igneous rock was essentially  a volcanic rock, either having cooled under water, or in the air.


After observing such rocks, we did an experiment  with sugar dissolved in water, to see how differently a mineral will cool in air and in water.

One mixture we put in a tray in the freezer (water), and left for fifteen minutes – and it came out flat and shiny, like obsidian rock, and those volcanic rocks that are cooled under water.

The other mixture we left to cool in the air, to observe the following week. As expected, in hardened in a bumpy ‘rocky’ fashion, with air holes, not unlike basalt, a volcanic rock cooled in the air, which we had also observed (above).


The kids then drew their own versions of the volcanic flow and rock reaction…

Scouts : Bridge Building

I spent a wonderful evening watching our scouts (8 – 10 year olds) building bridges with ropes and wood across our stream…

In this first picture we have Alfie and his friend Douglas who had “a great technique” – to simply throw the sticks in one place in the river! 😂 In the fifth picture down you can see how their bridge progressed – and, yes, it actually did work to walk across – and a couple of us grown-ups did try! 😄

In the rest of the pictures, with slightly older scouts, you can see that their techniques are a little more ‘traditional’. Each bridge worked as it should, and all the kids showed amazing teamwork…


Incredible what young kids can do without an adults help when they are given the chance! 👍

English Club : Our Amazing Earth & It’s Elements…

The older group in English Club (12 – 14 year olds) have now started a new topic : Our Amazing Earth – which is essentially about rocks and stones.

We started the topic by asking the question “What is Obsidian?” – a word that this age of boys often hear from the computer game ‘Minecraft’.

Obsidian is a volcanic rock, that has been cooled under water, and thus gives it a flat shiny look…


After observing this rock, I asked the kids if they knew what our earth was made up of. 

I then asked them to think about this, and make me our earth and it’s layers, from playdough….before explaining to me what these layers were….


I told them we were going to do the topic of geology, and where the word came from…


…and we then went on to discuss our earth’s treasures. What materials come from the earth, and how we use them in every day life…..


But how do we get these treasures?

By mining!

Then the kids ‘mined’ chocolate chips out of their cookies! The chocolate chips were the treasures, the cookies were the caves. For every whole chocolate chip they managed to mine out, they recieved 5000kr, but each time they damaged the cave, they were fined 2000kr…. 😉


We are using this book as our basis for explaining about the rock cycle…

English Club : Candle Lit Carousels

As we moved on from fire, in our study of ‘The Elements’, our last project in this area was to experience the power of heat energy.

We observed a candle powered carousel…


…we tried to invent our own..


Well, this was a tricky project indeed!

And unfortunately we didn’t manage to get any of the carousels to work – but the kids worked hard trying! 

England

It was a long time a go I wrote.

I went to England to see a sick friend, and every time I visit, my heart breaks a little, and I feel a little sad for a while afterwards…

But these are some pictures I took, on my walk up to the train station, on my way to the hospital.


I miss England every time I visit, and one day I hope to move back.

When I visit my friend, I stay with his parents, in what used to be his own ‘penthouse’, and I always take a photo out of the window while I’m there….


Two seperate mornings. One rainy, one sunny.

Until next time……