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From: mdmt (
Subject:         Re: panic attack
Date: April 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm PST

In Reply to: panic attack posted by Carol on October 19, 2007 at 1:53 pm:

You didn't give the age of your DGS, so I'm not sure which chemistry/geology ideas to include here. Sounds like younger, as you describe his writing.
I agree with the other posting: Unit study. Here are some ideas to include for chemistry/geology.
You can approach chemistry in other ways and add the periodic table at a later time. Try the American Chemical Society website (education section). They have a magazine called WonderScience that might be helpful. Examine some issues, and if you like what you see, back issues are available on a CD that is a real bargain.
Have you tried going to a museum about Rocks and Minerals? Maybe visit a cave, if one is within traveling distance. A Nature center might be helpful.
Any geologist in your circle of friends? Gem and Mineral shows or clubs in your area? The Teaching Company has a good video on geology (depends on the age of your student). This is for older students, but I had a young person age 11 who liked it, but he was a bit advanced.
If there is a creek nearby, gather small rocks from the streambed and rub them on a large rock. Have him hunt for ones with different color streaks (yellow, red, blue, gray, brown). Young kids enjoy this. The colors are due to the different minerals in them. (linking geology and chemisty) Some Native Americans used these for painting/ decorating their bodies/household items. (link to art and social studies) Grow crystals. The shapes link to math/geometry.
Check out American Mining Institute for teacher resources. Beware: They usually only cater to classroom teachers, but it is possible to tap this resource if you are savvy.
Books in the library on each element.
Game Elemento AFTER you do go over the periodic table. You can always alter the rules if you want to play before that.
I like the book "The Chemist Who Lost His Head", but it is about the French Revolution and therefore the guillotine is involved, so must only be used after you read it yourself and decide if it is suitable to your child. It is about the chemist Lavoisier. He has a link to geology as well (Plaster of Paris).
A good book of activities is by Reader's Digest: "How Science Works." It may be out of print, so try the local Library. There is one activity that has the child construct a model of the atom with it's orbitals that can precede the periodic table. Once they make this model, the valence electrons that go with the periodic table make sense. The same series has "How the Earth Works", which has geology activities. I believe it is for 8-11 year olds (but, of course, earlier if gifted)
There are even songs about chemistry/geology.
Lyrical Earth Science, I believe is one set.
I have just given you my favorites for younger students in chemistry/geology.
Hope something useful is here for you.

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