We just finished up a co-op with another family using Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the 5th Day (on sale for 30% off at CBD) which I absolutely love love love, and I have never absolutely loved science ever in. my. entire. life. Needless to say, I highly recommend it.
Yesterday we finished with a lesson on Flying Reptiles. In the chapter, we learned about paleontologists, and Mrs. Fulbright recommended an activity using old photographs. We adapted this activity slightly for our co-op. Each family had pictures of their family members, which we swapped with the other. Based on the pictures alone, we guessed what kind of people they were, or who they were. Before I left our house, as I scrambled to find photos to bring, I lamented that I had so few snapshots thinking that they would be so much more useful than the professional photos I was quickly throwing in our bag.
After we arrived at co-op, the kids examined the pictures and tried to make educated guesses about the people in them, and then I had an idea. Having brought along a family portrait of my sister-in-law's family, I recalled that her husband had just uploaded some family photos into his Facebook account. So, we took the kids to the computer where I logged on to Facebook and we browsed through the album. We learned so much more about them as we saw a photo of my nephew in his Scouts uniform, a photo of my niece's soccer team, with dad as the coach, photos of their two puppies, photos camping and at Disney world, and a photo of my sister-in-law in a Penn State sweatshirt. The kids were able to make more educated guesses about these people now that they'd seen a collection of snapshots instead of just one formal portrait.
We talked to the kids about paleontologists, and how if they find just one bone, or a single isolated skeleton, they have a hard time knowing much about the animal, but if they find many fossils together, or a fossilized stomach or fossilized dung, that they can determine much more about the animal. The more information a scientist has, the more accurate his assumptions may be. The kids really seemed to get it, and they were so excited to be using Facebook at co-op! It was really such a simple thing, but I just had to share it! Now who was it that was just saying Facebook is useless?!? ;)
Grace and Peace,