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Periodic Table Part 2

My girls have become quite intrigued by chemistry.  Not being tied to a curriculum allows us to follow the interests of the girls.  We have hit the pause button on oceanography for a few weeks to pursue a study of the periodic table.  Actually, it is not so much a pause, as a “look how these two areas of science fit together so perfectly” moment.  The study of the ocean’s water will make more sense when the girls understand what elements and compounds actually make up the water samples we are testing.

In a recent post about our construction of the periodic table, a blog reader commented on the resources she used with her sons when introducing the periodic table.  She provided the link to a free lapbook and recommended several books as well!  This is why I keep blogging.  This is why I share how we are approaching education.   I was not aware of these resources and with a few clicks, the books were sent to me via Amazon, and the lapbook was downloaded and ready to print.

I love these books.  My girls love these books.

We could have read the book, then completed the lapbook as a “final project” but that is not how we roll.  Not when we have a museum of natural history less than a half hour away.  Nope.  Instead, we took the freshly printed lapbooks, our newly constructed periodic tables, and our books to the museum and plopped ourselves down on the floor smack dab in the middle of the Hall of Rocks and Minerals.   

The girls were tasked with finding as many elements that fall into the different categories of the table.  Since this is a small display they were only able to find six, but that is six elements that they were able to view and understand in a personal way, much more so than if they simple read from the book.  They now want to venture into New York to visit the Hall of Rocks and Minerals at the Museum of Natural History.  I wish it were at the Met.  I really dislike the MNH......

*I recommend these resources because I love them, not because I received any compensation to do so.  


  1. I'm glad you are enjoying the books! What a great idea to go to the museum. I have the hardest time unschooling. I feel like there are certain things we need to accomplish and they won't get done (my son is a freshman this year) if we do these other things. I like reading what you write to remind myself to lighten up a bit and make it about really learning, not just crossing things off a list. Still a work in progress and I have a long way to go!

    Have you ever been to the CT Antique Machinery Association (CAMA) in Kent? They have an absolutely fantastic museum on minerals and mining: Connecticut Museum of Mining and Mineral Science. It is small, but it packs in a lot of information and has displays that rival any of the larger museums. We're doing Earth Science this year, so we combined it with a trip to Kent Falls. The state website has a geology page on the falls that we read before we went. Also, since your girls are artists, they might like the Eric Sloane Museum which is right next door to CAMA. (CAMA is closed now until May.)


    1. Sarah,

      The books are fantastic and I cannot thank you enough for sharing them with me. I worry sometimes too. But then I have moments like one that happened Monday afternoon, after our museum trip. We were at our Naturopath's office and we were discussing vitamin supplements and Grace started laughing and commented that it sounded like we were discussing the periodic table. When the girls make connections between what they are studying and how it applies to their life, I know we are doing what works for us.

      I saw the CAMA on your blog and I emailed them to ask if they ever open up for a school trip if we could possibly join in. If not, we will be taking the trip to Kent in the spring! We have been to Kent Falls many times and never knew this museum existed.

  2. Because they were able to connect with certain elements in a personal way I'm sure they'll remember them and the associated learning far more than if they had just relied on books. I loved The Elements and Fizz, Bubble and Flash too. Miss 13 was not so keen and her chemistry study never developed as much as I'd hoped. Then again her bird studies have devloped far more than I could ever have imagined and not everybody is going to be equally interested in everything. I've almost made peace with that fact and so long as I've found the most attractive resources I can and presented tham as well as I'm able, then I'm okay with the kids not loving everything and am happy for them to move along. So long as they love some things!


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