Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book Club- The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck

This year I decided it would be a great idea for our kids to be part of a Book Club. So we started one.

We are currently reading The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck. It is a moving story of two young boys in Japan. They are great friends and experience the fun and adventure of boyhood together. They've heard of the Big Wave (tsunami) yet no one expects what a big wave could actually do to change their lives. Jiya, one of the boys, experiences the pain of loss after his village and family is lost following the big wave. He also comes to learn about true bravery and comes to understand how wonderful life can be.

I found a study guide for the book that we are following and each meeting I supplement the learning with a science experiment and usually a little treat.

So far we've done two sections of the book. For our first meeting we discussed tsunamis, tectonic plates and earthquakes. We did a science activity where we simulated an underwater quake and saw how the ripple of the water would be created. We also focused on the geography of Japan and the surrounding region.

Did you know a tsunami (translated "great harbor wave" in Japanese) can produce waves that rise up to 100 feet or higher? Or that a tsunami wave on the open ocean can travel up to 500 mph? Or that an earthquake off the coast of Chile caused a tsunami that traveled 10,000 miles in just 22 hours to Japan where it hit with such force that 150 people were killed.

One week following our lesson we enjoyed Volcano Pie. It was a yummy ice cream pie. I found the recipe in Kids Discover Volcanoes. I will post the recipe for you to enjoy.

We've discussed melting points as associated with the inner earth so we could have a better understanding of magma. We learned about other melting points of water, chocolate, sugar, and even the filiment in a lightbulb that has a melting point that exceeds 6000 degrees! Wow!

This past week we watched a DVD about earthquakes. The awesome wonder of the earth is so amazing!! After the DVD we enjoyed a little Volcano Punch- Yum! Cool, Refreshing, Bubbly, and Tropical!

The boys are making "Lap Books" to record the vocabulary, geography, experiments and other important facts surrounding our study.

I'm not sure who is learning or the kids. I love soaking in this information. I find myself wondering, maybe when I grow up I should be a geologist, or a scientist, or just maybe I'll be who I am, a mom enjoying the learning.

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