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Archive for May 11th, 2009

We’ve been having a visitor fox come around at dusk and he’s been eating our sunflower seeds that fall from the bird feeders.

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Maddie is getting her updated rabies shot in 3 days, hopefully she’ll be okay until then! Here she is scaring away the fox.

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Satori has been obsessed with trilobites today. A few days ago it was triceratops. So I’m researching more about trilobites, as she wants to do a video narration on her trilobite knowledge. I soon found out that trilobites rank second only to dinosaurs as a famous extinct organism. Today we also learned that there are thousands of species of trilobites, so every fossil can look a little different. They were the first ancient creature to develop sophisticated eyes, although the different species of trilobites have eyes in different places, or no eyes at all!

Trilobite interactive coloring page from EnchantedLearning.com

Trilobite interactive coloring page from EnchantedLearning.com

We found this interactive online Trilobite coloring page on EnchantedLearning.com, which normally needs a subscription, but we weren’t asked for our password. Here’s Satori’s coloring job. 🙂

Thank you Levi from Nature’s Own in Nederland for giving us a great fossil demonstration! He helped Satori pick out her very own trilobite fossil, something she’d been really looking forward to. Trilobite fossil was $6.

Trilobite fossil

Trilobite fossil

He also had a stunning display of pearly ammonites, so pretty! We got one for a  few dollars to add to our collection. Here it is sitting on this fossil book with the first page showing a pearly ammonite.

Pearly Ammonite fossil

Pearly Ammonite fossil

For $12, we got a whole kit of 12 fossils – all the common ones plus petrified wood, a dinosaur bone, and much more…

Fossil kit of 12 fossils

Fossil kit of 12 fossils

Each fossil is enclosed with a description of what it is, how old it is, what period it came from, and where it came from. Here’s our Crinoid stem (sea lily) which was actually an animal fossil.

Crinoid stem fossil

Crinoid stem fossil

But you always have to have a favorite, and for Satori, it was the Trilobite.

Favorite fossil - trilobite

Favorite fossil - trilobite

Here she is rolling around with her new favorite trilobite.

I love my trilobite!

I love my trilobite!

I’m trying to think of ways to get Satori to fathom how very long ago the universe, the earth, and all were formed, as well as a general idea of the time relationships to each other. We started with an inexpensive and easy timeline. (I plan to make more elaborate timelines once we start our ancient history studies.)

I took a roll of calculator paper, and marked off one foot on a ruler for each billion years. Then we put it up on a long wall, our staircase was the perfect length. Satori then made quick little pictures of each major universe event.

Satori drawing the Big Bang

Satori drawing the Big Bang

Now we have sketches for: the Big Bang, Galaxies/Stars, Sun, Earth, and First Life, all appropriately set upon our book, Born With a Bang!

All our universe event sketches

All our universe event sketches

We headed to our Universe Wall Timeline and I told Satori how many billion of years ago each event happened, and she placed them in the appropriate place. (I had to strategically place our timeline high enough for our cats not to eat it,  yet short enough for Satori to reach it. )

Big Bang ~ 13-15 billion years ago

Big Bang ~ 13-15 billion years ago

It gives a great visual idea of how far apart universe events happened, and how our sun, galaxy, and earth all formed around the same time. We’ll get to see how life began, and how very small a time that life as we know it (mammals, humans) takes up space on our Universe Timeline.

Sun, galaxy and earth formed ~ 4.5 billion years ago

Sun, galaxy and earth formed ~ 4.5 billion years ago

And here’s our Universe Timeline, up through everything we’ve studied so far! We’re tackling early life this week, so the last picture is a one-celled organism. We’ll likely make an Earth Timeline which will be a bit more condensed, we can also refer to our Charlie’s Playhouse Giant Timeline for this. In fact, Satori asked where the squishy animals were on our timeline, and I had to explain this is for the Universe, the beginning of our world as we know it.

Universe Timeline

Universe Timeline

What a great way to remind ourselves of the wonders of our universe and when events happened!

Universe Timeline for Kids

  • 15 Billion Years Ago – Big Bang
  • 12 Billion Years Ago – Milky Way Galaxy
  • 6 Billion Years Ago – Our solar system and Sun forms
  • 4.6 Billion Years Ago – Formation of Earth
  • 3.5 Billion Years Ago – First Life
  • 3.2 Billion Years Ago – Moon assumes present shape
  • 3 Billion Years Ago – Photosynthesis, blue-green algae

Timelines can differ within a few billion years on the time of the Big Bang, and differ by a million years or less for other events. Here are other universe timelines:

We’re about to head to Nederland to get a demonstration by our friends there on fossils and take a look at what they have. Then head to Boulder to go to the library to get a few books on big numbers so we can further explore how very big million and billion is!