Bugs, Dirt and Rocks: Earth Science and Geology

Adventures await with Bugs, Dirt, and Rocks! Oh my!

This 30 week, 90 minute course will take students on an adventure as they discover their fascinating home planet.  From the creepy crawly to the ewww gooey, there is plenty to learn about (and messes to be made) in the soil beneath our feet.  How are rocks made?  When does a rock or mineral become valuable and rare?  

This course will give students the opportunity to learn how much there is to love about the natural world all around us. And the perfect excuse to get outside and messy!  

Lessons will be based on Sassafras’s Kids and Elemental Science Earth Science and Geology books.  Outside sources like the Smithsonian and Scholastic Lessons will be implemented as well.  In class, students will preform experiments (like water filtration), complete log books & lap books, and go deeper into the subject matter.  To cement their knowledge, students collect data and present their findings to their fellow scientists.  They will discuss their successes and failures in data collection as well as “show” their found and identified items.

Students will need a 3 ring binder, pencils and paper.
In order to be successful in this class, students need to be able to take short notes (to complete lap books) or add that to their homework.

Class homework requirements:  Will be roughly 30-45 mins a day, 3x a week- this will include nature walks, specimen collection and identification, reading or listening to The Sassafras Kids Geology and Earth Science Books.  Some simple, but longer experiments will be done at home, (salt and sugar rocks, evaporation comparison, etc.). 
If you have a real adventurer, he/she may spend much longer on the nature walks.  Homework will be posted on Schoology.

Field trips:
We will take a field trip to the Pink Palace to look at their fascinating rock collection and learn about seismic activity in our area.  
We will also take a trip to the Tunica River Park to learn about the mighty Mississippi and explore nature trails. Both are contingent on weather and social distancing mandates.  

You may purchase the audio or paper version of the Sassafras’s kids books here.


Upon completion of this course, students will be better prepared to take on the challenge of more formal middle school science classes like Life Science, Science Academy and General Science.

Thursday – FILLED

Time: 10:45-12:15
Grade:  4-6
Class Fees: $350
Supply fee: $85 (supplies used in the classroom) field trips are not included
Tutor: Candace Fortino

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2021-22 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically.  Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.  Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.