Thursday, November 18, 2010

story bones

I have mentioned from time to time here just how much we adore our homeschool science classes at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). Homeschooling in the Washington DC area means we get to take advenatge of so many federal resources that bring the most amazing new learning opportunities right to our doorstep. And we also LOVE our teacher at SERC Miss Karen who has been mesmerizing Zach since he was 3 years old and is largely responsible for his love of science and investigating nature. He often declares gushing when love after class, "I want to be Miss Karen when I grow up." Me too!

Yesterday we learned all about bones. And it was quite the education for me as well (as the classes always are). The kids got to explore how bones can tell a whole story about a person or animal and even about a certain period in history. They got to uncover a mystery about a real man (ancient bones brought in from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum) and put together a full story about his life by the time class was finished.
Our favorite thing to do after class is go romping in the woods with friends, there are miles and miles of trails and sandy shoreline and gorgeous woods. My little scientist almost popped out of his skin when he came across this.
How wonderful it was to hear him decode this find, examining every detail and trying to piece together the story of this bone. It's a whole new way of looking at things. Another homeschool love day.

Here are some of the resources we looked at before the class. Some of these links might be a bit much for younger kids (talking about how people died), so have a look before exploring with your wee ones.

Put Together Mr. Bones
The Secret In The Cellar (comic book style story of a real bone mystery at SERC. This one might not be good for little ones)
Written In Bone (check out the sidebar)
Forensic Facial Reconstruction from Bones at SI
Brain teaser style "crime" solving games
Human Skeleton

If you have any books or resources to share on bones studies, I'd love to hear about them!


Deb said...

I'm jealous - I'd love to sit in on those classes!

On a totally unrelated issue, would you be willing to do a post on the specifics of how you guys manage living on the boat in the winter there in Annapolis? (e.g. water, pumpout, etc?) I guess I don't really think about Annapolis as a place one would generally want to winter.

S/V Nomad

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

I love when you do these posts. Like Deb, I would also like to sneak into those classes :) Off to check out the bone links.

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