Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back yard Archaeology!

What a fantastic afternoon this turned out to be! We are studying explorers and right now we are looking at the Vikings. We were reading about the settlement that was discovered in Newfoundland and how the archaeologists uncovered it, proving that there was a viking settlement there right about a 1000 years ago. So today we set up our own dig, and pretended that we were looking for evidence that people had once lived in this area. What fantastic artifacts we found.

Ariana sifting through the dirt, being careful not to damage anything.
The dig site and archaeologists from above.
In Ariana's quadrant she found what everyone decided was one of the most important discoveries. A coin showing that the people who did live in this area had some kind of money system.
Each archaeologist dug in their quadrant and recorded what they found. Then we all got together and shared what each one found, speculating over what something may have been or what it was used for.
Teigan carefully cleaning the dirt off one of the found "artifacts".
Liam and Ariana, finding one of his treasures to share about.
Teigan filling in the rest of her grid, while Ariana is showing her the exciting coin!
Samuel showing Liam one of the finds so he can draw it into the proper quadrant.
This whole activity took about two hours and the kids were right into it the whole time. What a great afternoon!

One great day - salmon run, enjoying the Okanagan, orchards and tractors.

We ended up hanging out with Randy at the orchard and the kids all got to drive the tractor. BIG hit!

One, two, three... JUMP! (It's the end of September and we're still in the water!)
Always exploring...

The Salmon run...

Hiking to the falls. Everyone carries their own water and snacks.
The boys bouldering up and along a fantastic rock face.
The area has changed since last fall. There was a rock slide and what used to be a nice pool at the bottom of the falls is now filled with rocks of all sizes. Of course the kids didn't mind at all!
Crossing a felled tree over a moving stream filled with salmon... no big deal.
One of the spawning salmon making its way up stream to spawn.
Exploring down by the creek side.

There weren't as many salmon as there have been in years past. The salmon run is low everywhere around here this year.

Praying Mantis

The boys found this little fellow out in the back yard. We checked him out for a while before letting him go back to his environment. He didn't seem bothered at all.

The Aqua Van comes to town...

We went to see the Aqua Van from the Vancouver Aquarium. It was a great experience and we learned a few brand things. Above, Samuel is learning to tell the difference in the sexes of crabs... beehive or lighthouse. New to me.

Teigan and Samuel checking out the fabulous sea anemone.
Learning about the sea star and how it actually takes its stomach out of its body to eat. Plunks it down on the food, digests and then takes the nutrients it needs into its body, leaving the rest behind.
Liam, up close and personal with a little sea star; checking out the little "feet".
Teigan feeling a sea urchin.
The other fabulous thing that we learned was that a sea otter will carry the same rock (its tool) around for its entire life! It tucks it under its armpit.

Great morning with the Aqua Van.

Welcome back to the adventure... Wonder School 2009

Simon and Samuel spent a good chunk of their time playing with words and building fun and crazy sentences. We all had a good laugh at their sentences.
Enjoying listening to our stories outside on the hammock. The weather is still beautiful!
Liam working on some various creation. Wax strips, paper plates, scissors... hmmm
Samuel and some of his symmetrical creations.
Geo Caching at the basalt columns in Keremeos. Volcanic formations similar to Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Great fun.