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    hands on science
    By Julianne

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    There are two different ways to create land forms with your sixth graders. To make land forms that involve water, have students create the forms in aluminum pie tins using homemade flour dough. Let them dry, then coat twice with thinned plaster of paris. Finally, paint the land forms with acrylic craft paints - green and brown for land, blue for water. Spray with clear plastic coating (all of these paints are inexpensive and go a long way.) Now the students can pour water into their creations to see an isthmus, island, peninsula, etc. You can use the same method to create other land forms, it's just that the water ones are so much fun.

    Another project shows layers and how they change when land shifts. Make the flour dough again and divide it into three or four batches. Color each batch a different bright color. Now give students dough and have them create layers of "soil" by placing one sheet of colored dough on top of the next. Now you can use the "soil sandwich" to create mountain folds, cut it and move the layers against each other to show fault line movement. You can even have them make a thick set of layers and jam a drinking straw into it. Now pull out the straw and carefully slice it open (perhaps your job...) to see how geologists take a core sample. All their creations can be dried, labeled and kept for display.

    Finally, I ran into a good website about earthquakes on the web.

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