How To Teach Geology, Part 2

How to Teach Geology, Part 2

Figuring out just how to teach, or what to teach your kids when it comes to geology can be a daunting task. Hopefully, we removed some of that a few weeks back, when I talked a bit about how to teach geology, focusing on some of the whys, and some very basic hows. Now that we’ve gone through that, I wanted to help you navigate through the different geology kits and books that we have. Hopefully, these will give you a few ideas of what you could use with your family.

The Basics

We have geology kits and books for PreK-12 grades, all taught from a Biblical perspective. That means that we hold to a literal reading of the book of Genesis as history, and believe in a 6-day creation, along with a worldwide, catastrophic flood that created the world that we now live in. Our desire in studying geology is to help build your faith in the truth of the Scriptures, in its entirety.

For most of the topics, you will see a kit, book, and samples listed. That is because sometimes people want the separate parts.

The kits have learning materials in them along with the rock, mineral, or fossil samples. Some people order just the books, with the intention of either adding their own samples or going without the samples altogether. We have to warn you: Many have come back and said that they want the samples! Doing a geology study without having the hands-on aspect just is not a fun way to study geology!

Geology can be studied in many different contexts, which is why we have so many different kits. So now you pick the area you want to study. Perhaps you want just a basic geology study. Or maybe you want to study mining, or the Lewis and Clark Trail. Unless you are in high school and looking for particular requirements, you can just dive in!

Kits by Grade

Let’s start with our grade categories. Our geology kits and books are divided into three different groups (although there are some kits that do not fit these breakdowns – more on that later): PreK-3, 4-8, and high school.

Geology Studies for Grades PreK-8

For the younger grades (PreK-3, 4-8), we like to encourage the exploration – what is something they are interested in? Rocks and minerals? Volcanoes? Mining? Maybe dinosaurs? This is a great time to encourage the joy of learning. The studies are usually able to be completed in a semester or less. It truly does depend on how often you work on it, and if you decide to expand your study using field trips or if you decide to go deeper with other materials added in. And all of the studies that we have, no matter the grade, include samples of rocks, minerals, and/or fossils.

Geology Studies for High School

For the high school students, we have both geology kits and books that will fit nicely as a semester study. This is especially helpful if you need to fulfill a requirement for your transcript. In particular, we have created four studies that have study questions, projects, quizzes , and a final exam. These four are: Bedrock Geology; Fossils, Dinosaurs and Cave Men; Rocks and Minerals the Stuff of the Earth and Volcanoes, Volcanic Rocks and Earthquakes.

With the high school studies, you truly can start anywhere. You do not have to have completed one particular one before going on to another. If we are asked, however, we like to encourage that you start with Bedrock Geology. This great study sets the groundwork for understanding some of the thornier issues that can so easily derail one’s faith, like understanding the Ice Age and radiometric dating. It helps you to understand the philosophical nature of the study of geology, as you explore some of the history of modern geology. From there, any of the other semester studies would help to create a total of a year’s credit in geology.

We have other studies for high school in even more specialized areas, like archaeology, or a more in depth exploration into creation and evolution, called Fossils: Challenge to Evolution.

Combine Grades Using the “Made Easy” Series

OK, let’s go back a few steps. I told you I would talk about some of our kits that cover wider age ranges. For instance, we have our Made Easy series: Rock Identification Made Easy (Grades 3-12), Mineral Identification Made Easy (Grades 5-12), and Fossil Identification Made Easy (Grades 3-12). These fun studies cover wider age ranges. So these can be a nice way to include a wider age range of kids in studying the same thing.

Combine Grades Using Similar Geology Studies

But since these studies don’t really fit well for the very young kids, we do have some ideas for you as to how to include them.

  1. Say that you wanted to do Rock Identification Made Easy. There is a study for the little kids that lines up with this very nicely: Rocks and Minerals for Little Eyes. The nice thing is that you would not have to purchase the samples that go with this study, as everything that you need is already contained in the Rock ID Made Easy study. In addition, the younger book has all sorts of fun projects that help to engage your younger (and older!) child while the others are studying more difficult concepts about the rocks. You can do the same thing with Fossil Identification Made Easy and Fossils and Dinosaurs for Little Eyes for the younger kids, es.
  2. Some parents want to do the study Geology for Kids, 4-8. But if you have younger kids, you can, again, add on any or all of the “Little Eyes” books (Rocks and Minerals for Little Eyes, Fossils and Dinosaurs for Little Eyes  or Volcanoes for Little Eyes) to help engage your youngest child with activities that fit in with the Geology for Kids study. Again, you would not need to purchase the samples for the younger child, as most of them would be contained in the larger Geology for Kids kit.
  3. Geology for Kids is one of those kits that is just a monster. It has so many samples! Because of this, it is also a great kit to combine with Rock Identification Made Easy. Most of the samples that you need to do Rock ID are found in Geology for Kids.

Other Geology Studies

We can easily make a kit for you that more precisely fits what it is you want to do. We also can make sample kits for you if you are using a geology study from another publisher. The sky is the limit! So don’t be afraid to ask. If you can think it up, we likely can make it for you.

Feel free to contact us with any questions. We are here to help you and your family in both your study of geology, and your desire to better understand the Bible, especially the book of Genesis.

Have you  seen our Fun Geology Brick Challenges? This is great fun for your younger kids who have lots of LEGO® bricks lying around!

Click here to see our Youtube channel with short talks on various aspects of geology.

2 thoughts on “How To Teach Geology, Part 2

  1. I purchased 4 semester kits from you to equal a full highschool credit. I didnt realize that none of the kits came with worksheets, activity sheets, lab manuals, or tests. I’m a little unsure how to use it now. Can I get some guidance and advice please. The kits I bought are: Rocks And Minerals, the stuff of the Earth; Rock Identification made easy; Geology Lab Kit; Agates, Jaspers, Thunder Eggs and Geodes.

    I would appreciate a prompt response.
    Thank you and God bless!

    1. Thanks for reaching out to us. I will take them one kit at a time.
      Rocks and Minerals the Stuff of the Earth – On pg. 4 there is a section called “How to Use This Study.” 1. Keep a notebook that has a separate section for vocabulary. (The notebook can then also be used for the kit Jaspers, Agates, Thunder Eggs, and Geodes.) Then you are instructed to use the notebook to create a glossary. The next thing to do that is suggested is to get out in the field and find examples of what you are studying. Then you are to write your observations in the notebook. So, you are going to keep a section for vocabulary, and for observations. The final thing that you do is answer whatever questions or activities are at the end of each lesson, followed by a short quiz that is in the back of the book. Each lesson refers you to an appendix at the back of the book.

      For Agates, Jaspers, Thunder Eggs and Geodes – you are working not with a curricula per se, but with a self-directed study. The front of the monograph has instructions for doing that. As a side note, most of geology is observation and recording your observations.

      Rock Identification Made Easy – This makes a great lab. You just need to work through it from front to back. I would suggest doing this study before doin any of the other material. On pg. 8, there is a section “Teacher Notes.” At the bottom of the teacher notes section it gives you two suggestions on how to get the most out of the study. At the bottom of pg. 12 there are 6 specific instructions for how to get the most out of this book.

      The Geology Lab Kit – with this kit you are applying what you are reading about in the books.

      Here is what I would suggest for an order:
      Rock Identification Made Easy
      Rocks and Minerals the Stuff of the Earth
      Occasionally interrupt that study to do a project from Geology Lab Kit
      When done with Rocks and Minerals the Stuff of the Earth, finish up with the study on Agates, Jaspers, Thunder Eggs and Geodes.

      The regularity and specific day by day time that you spend is up to you. The best way to proceed with all of this is just not to go forward in the study until the concept is mastered.

      We are currently on the road with our Yellowstone tours with limited connectivity. If you need more help beyond this, we will have a couple days in between tours that we can talk.

      Thanks,
      Patrick

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