Creation Science – Day 5

Okay, it’s time for a quick review.

Day 1 – Let There Be Light

Day 2 – Separating the Waters

Day 3 – Plant Science

Day 4 – The Sun, the Moon and the Stars in the Sky

I hope you have been having as much fun with this as I have. In fact, I am having so much fun with it, I am thinking about putting it together in a basket and donating the lessons and some of the supplies to the HEAV Silent Auction. What do you think? If you want to donate something to the Silent Auction, head over to the donation form and fill it out. If you want to see what has been donated already, you can do that as well on the HEAV Silent Auction page. Sorry, I digress a little bit sometimes. Okay, focus. Back to science.

According to the Bible, on day five God created an abundance of living creatures in the water and let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky. Remember back on day two when God separated the waters above from the waters below? Now, we see that God already had a plan for that space: he wanted to put birds there.

I decided that, this week, the kids in my class would learn about birds and sea creatures. We focused mostly on birds as they are more easily spotted around here, but we did a pretty cool experiment having to do with sea creatures as well.

First question: What is the state bird? Did God decree in the Bible which birds would represent each state? No, man did that, but God made the birds so it is related. For Virginia, as most of us know, the state bird is the cardinal, and in Pennsylvania (which probably fewer Virginians know) the state bird is the ruffed grouse. Just for kicks, the state bird of Alaska is the willow ptarmigan.

 

Activity #1 – Making a Bird Feeder

Materials:

  • Pipe cleaners (at least three, but you can have more; we used five per bird feeder)
  • Cheerios® (or other cereal that has holes)

Instructions:

We chose two different kinds of Cheerios®:  regular and multigrain. I did this because I liked the variation in colors.

Step 1 – Thread the cheerios onto all but one of the pipe cleaners.

Step 2 – Using the one pipe cleaner that isn’t covered with Cheerios®, twist the ends of all of the pipe cleaners together.

Step 3 – Hang bird feeder in tree or bush.

While the kids were doing this project, we had a discussion about birds; then, when they were done, we had a quick review while I asked them questions. Each correct answer got a point. The information I provided was from various Internet sites I researched, but here are a few of the more interesting facts:

  • Not all birds can fly and not all flying animals are birds.
  • To travel from place to place, birds use various modes of transportation, including flying, running, walking, and swimming.
  • The peregrine falcon has been clocked at 90 mph in a dive.
  • Birds have different feathers that are used for different purposes. Three types of feathers are feathers for flying, down feathers for insulation, and feathers for display during mating and courtship rituals.
  • The ostrich lays the largest egg,
  • Birds can safely perch on a power line because there is no potential difference between their feet. If, however, they were touching more than one power line, or the line and ground, they would be electrocuted. Some birds’ wing spans are large enough to span across power lines and can be killed trying to land on one.

You can also download the questions sheet. This is a fun way to have the kids ask each other questions or to make it into a game.

 

Activity #2 – Bird Seed Balls

This activity didn’t work quite as well as I would have liked, but it didn’t turn out too bad, so I am including it here. There are various ways to make bird seed balls and you can find a variety of them online. One way includes unflavored gelatin, and that sounds like it would work well; however, we wouldn’t have had enough time in class for the gelatin to set up. Here is what we did instead:

Materials:

  • Bird seed
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions:

NOTE: This activity can be messy so you may want to do it outside.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, combine the vegetable shortening and bird seed. The ratio isn’t too important; I just kept adding bird seed until you really couldn’t see any more white shortening. I prepared the mixture before class started.

Step 2 – Give each child a piece of plastic wrap. (NOTE: Please be careful when using plastic wrap around young children as it can pose a suffocation risk).

Step 3 – Place a scoop of the bird seed mixture onto the plastic wrap and have the children wrap it up and mold it into a shape of their liking. If the shortening is cold, it can be molded a little bit, but the more the kids worked with it, the warmer it became and it was hard for it to keep a shape. Refrigerating the shortening  will help.

Step 4 – Take the plastic wrap off,  and then place the bird seed ball someplace you can see from a window so you can watching the birds come to eat.

After class, I had some of the bird seed mixture left, so I brought it home and placed a scoop on several fence posts. Once the birds found the mixture, it was gone in a flash.

After we finished talking about birds, we began to discuss the other creatures that God made on the fifth day: sea creatures.

To begin, ask your kids to name some sea creatures. Challenge them to name as many different ones as they can. If you are able to visit an aquarium, be sure to point out all of the different kinds of sea creatures that God made and how seemingly different creatures work together in a symbiotic relationship. We did not spend as much time on sea creatures as we spent on birds; however, we did a very cool experiment on blubber.

Begin by asking the kids about blubber. What is blubber? According to dictionary.com, blubber has eight different definitions, for our purposes, we will use the first definition.

blubber [bluhb-er] noun:, the fat layer between the skin and muscle of whales and other cetaceans, from which oil is made

The purpose of blubber is varied. Blubber is the primary storage of fat on some mammals, meaning that these animals can metabolize fat while traveling from one feeding area to another. Blubber adds buoyancy to sea creatures, making it easier for them to swim. Another interesting fact about blubber is that, unlike fur–which has air pockets to trap heat–blubber does not compress under pressure, which means that it can help animals survive in cold waters.

 

Activity #3 – Trying On Blubber

Materials:

  • 1 large pan filled with ice water
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Two Ziploc® bags

Instructions:

Step 1 – Ahead of time, you will want to prepare the “blubber glove”. This can be done in several ways. In fact, on one site, I read that you don’t even need the glove and you can just cover your own hand. However, we decided to go the less messy route.

  • Making a Blubber Glove
    • Take one Ziploc® bag and fill it about half full of vegetable shortening
    • Take the second Ziploc® bag and insert it into the first bag
    • Match up the top edges and try not to reach into the wrong part.
    • This gives you a place to put your hand so that it is inside of the shortening (or blubber layer) but doesn’t get covered with shortening)

Step 2 – Fill a large pan with cold water and ice

Step 3 – Have the children place their bare hands into the ice water and count to ten. (For younger kids you may want to count to 5 or just tell them to take their hand out when it is too cold. Just be careful so no one gets hurt.)

Step 4 – After the children have placed their hand in the cold water, have them remove it and describe how it felt. I received answers that varied from “cold” to “really cold” to “Oh my goodness that was soooo cold”.

Step 5 – Have the children take turns placing their other hand into the blubber glove. You want them to use their other hand because the first hand is already cold and it is now wet, and you don’t want your blubber glove getting wet on the inside. With you holding the top of the baggie/glove so that the top of the blubber glove does not go below the waterline, have the child place their gloved hand into the ice water again.

Step 6 – Ask the child to count to ten again and then with their hand still in the glove which is in the water, ask them how it feels. Does their hand feel as cold as last time? Can they leave their hand in there longer than 10 seconds?

When you have finished the experiment, explain to the kids that the shortening in the bag is acting like blubber. The outer Ziploc® bag is the outer skin while the inside baggie is the muscle and the blubber is contained in between the two layers.

If you have never tried this experiment yourself, be sure to try it along with the kids because it is quite amazing how well this works. While I was getting the blubber glove ready before class, several of the moms in my co-op were curious as to what in the world I was doing. Rather than just explaining it, I had them try it!

God is so great that He made birds that can fly and birds that can’t fly but can run quite fast. He also made sea creatures and gave them a way to manage living in and traveling through cold waters. In my next post, we will have reached day six. Who knows what God made on day six? Well, let me just tell you, we had a lot of fun with day six.

Okay, here’s your hint: there were bugs, jumping jacks, and Skittles® involved!

Michelle, a Virginia native, currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. Active in Scouts, area homeschool groups, and with her family, she can be found on her blog, “Homeschooler on the Edge,” as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.