Thursday, February 1, 2018

Our Geology Hike


   My seven year old has been studying geology the last few weeks. We've watched videos about caves and rocks, built our own volcano, checked out all sorts of geology books from the library, visited a gem and mineral display,  but my favorite activity we've done so far was our geology hike earlier this week.

   We happen to live in an area near an active volcano so the area is littered with various types of volcanic rock and lava caps and we have a wonderful park with miles of hiking trails through the area's natural landscape. So we picked a trail and off we went on our adventure to find cool geologic features (and enjoy this rare gorgeous sunny January day).

   Almost right away we found an example of a type of rock we had just read about the previous day called a conglomerate rock. Conglomerate rock contains pebbles or small shells cemented together by much smaller particles of rock.

   We also found this really neat little ridge where you could see two very distinct layers of lava flows.

      The trail we were on runs between a bluff and a river. During the rainy part of the year water runs down the bluff to the river so we came along several small creeks running down the hillside. We also found a lava cap with huge dips carved out by erosion from water running over it.

      In addition to all the neat rocks and geologic features we found, we also saw and identified several species of birds (my seven year old loves bird watching), saw an awesome hollow tree, and found a couple fun man made features. 

   My daughter was especially excited about the Dobby rock. She's a huge Harry Potter fan and the rocks were from a fun rock hunting group we're a part of. 

   Being able to so easily take the learning out of the home/ classroom and out into the real world is one of my favorite things about homeschooling. It was such a great way for my daughter to get to see some of the geological features she's been learning about up close . And I'm so glad we got to spend all morning soaking up some sunshine instead of being stuck inside.

For more fun geology ideas check out my post about how to make your own mineral identifying kit or this one about how to demonstrate how metamorphic rock is formed.

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