I laugh whenever I think of the title of this block because my physicist brother told me in mock seriousness that four elements is pretty archaic; we now have a whole chart of elements, you know. Well Pintail, my second grader, explored the four archaic elements and had a great time. Our lessons were guided by the book Earth, Water, Fire and Air by Walter Kraul. I chose two or three activities to explore each of the elements. Pintail did a whole lot of hands on play, memorized a few poems, and recorded his experiments into a Main Lesson Book. The experiments that went awry were recorded, too, and I had him write honest feedback. Here is an example of a flubbed experiment, “Our windmill was horrible. I don’t think we have enough sails. It didn’t work in the wind. It only worked when my mom blew it.” And from a field trip to look at rocks during our Earth portion, “There were millions of gnats. We didn’t even look at the rocks.” Ha! All experiments were suggested in Kraul’s book unless otherwise noted. I liked “Earth, Water, Fire and Air” (I know book titles get underlined -just can’t figure out how) for the suggestions, but some of the experiments required very specific supplies and tools, so it wasn’t completely user-friendly in my opinion. I didn’t take pictures of some of our activities because sometimes I dislike having the camera out and just want to enjoy DOING.
POEM – Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti
Giant Bubbles - from Design Dazzle
The Humming Button
POEM – The Earth is Firm (Author unknown. A common Waldorf verse.)
A Hand-Sculpted Clay Marble Run and Marble
A Trip to Find Rocks (thwarted by gnats, but remedied by a different location!)
Racing Celery Boats in Rain-Filled Gutters (thank you Mother Nature for cooperating!)
Hydraulic Power Transmission
POEM – An Emerald is as Green as Grass by Christina Rossetti
Experiments with Candle Flame (We loved lighting the gasses of a recently extinguished candle and watching the flame leap back to the wick!)
Building a Rocket Stove - from Instructables (This was very tricky for a 2nd grader! We both nicked ourselves a few times, not to mention the tiny tin pieces that could be a terrible sliver.)
This was a very fun block to end Pintail’s second grade year. Thanks for visiting!