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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Apologia General Science, Module 6, Foundations of Geology

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Quizlet M6
• Online practice quiz
• How are materials from the earth broken down?
-Click on a scene at the top.
-Click on Hear below the larger image.
-Click on the water or oxidation symbols at the bottom to see how these cause erosion.
• How do glaciers shape the land?
-Click on one of the two tabs at the top, then click on the labels to learn about the landforms.
-At the bottom, look at the Site that is shown, and figure out which landform it is.
-Use the Clue if you need it.  Check your answer.
-Scroll down and choose another Site.

Petrified paper
Weathering and Erosion - lots of links!  I love the 12 stations; we're doing some of those.
Stations worksheets - I typed up my own using these for an example.
Teacher-Friendly Guide to Geology.  Nice guides for educators based on your area of the country.  See the left sidebar.
• Some good pages found here under "Geology"
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)

(1)  p. 137-138 Introduction
Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism


(2)  p. 138b-142a, Soil, Rocks, and Minerals
The top layer of soil is rich in humus.  Humus is the decayed remains of once-living creatures, and contains nutrients that plants use.
Other components of most soil are gravel, sand, silt, and clay.

This tells how to determine if soil is good for growing things - if the soil is a "loam," which you don't need to know yet, but still a good video about the different components of soil.

Way beneath the dirt of the earth's crust is a solid layer of rock.
There are three main kinds of rocks:  sedimentary rock, igneous rock, and metamorphic rock.

  • Igneous rock is formed from magma (molten rock deep in the earth).  Sometimes the magma cools inside the earth, and other times it erupts from volcanoes.  
  • Sedimentary rock is formed from particles of shells, or sand and pebbles weathered from igneous rock.  Together, these particles are called sediment.  When the sediment accumulates in layers over time, they harden into sedimentary rock. You can see the sediments in the rock. 
  • Metamorphic rock is formed from igneous rock and/or sedimentary rock under the surface of the earth due to high heat and pressure, but not hot enough to melt.  If metamorphic rock gets hot enough to melt, it becomes igneous rock.  
These rocks form from one another in the rock cycle.

From ingeous rock, to sedimentary rock, to metamorphic rock.

There are different types of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
The Rock Song!  ♪♫  
(Remember to be gneiss, lol!)

What kinds of rocks are found where you live?

Minerals are inorganic.  This means they didn't come from a once-living being.  Minerals are crystalline substances found naturally in the earth.
A crystalline substance has a sharp, geometric shape.  It doesn't have rounded edges like most rocks you see.  These sharp-edged minerals are what make up rocks.

Great video showing many types of minerals.  I love the "peacock ore" at 5:30 -- So pretty!!!
Some have been through a rock tumbler and are now smooth.


(3) p. 142-145, Strata in Sedimentary Rock

Arial view of the Grand Canyon. Beautiful!!!


(4) p. 145b-149, Weathering of Rocks
Weathering is the breakdown of rocks, soils, and minerals into sediment by the forces of nature.
►Look at these awesome pictures of weathering.

There are two types of weathering:
  • chemical weathering from acid rain or rust
  • physical weathering from wind or water carrying sediment that wears away at rocks and shorelines, or from extreme heat or cold, or from plant roots that break up sidewalks or pavement, etc.
However, both types of weathering occur in place.
►Once the sediment moves away from its location, then it is called erosion.
(Please ignore the reference to billions of years.  sigh.)
This video is actually about both weathering and erosion.


(5) 149b-154a, Erosion
Erosion is displacement of rock fragments, sediments, soil, and other particles that are carried away by wind, rain, or ice.

Rivers carry along sediment and deposit it into a larger body of water such as a lake or more commonly, the ocean.
River erosion.

"A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river. Over long periods of time, this deposition builds the characteristic geographic pattern of a river delta."

A delta gradually grows further out into the ocean (or lake, etc.) while at the same time builds up so that part of it is above water.  Plant life can grow here.  The main river will cut through this body in several branches and continues to the ocean.  On this picture of the Nile Delta, you can see the delta extended into points at those areas.

Caverns are another kind of erosion.  It is common for the different "rooms" in caverns to be named for their appearance.

Yay for bats!  =)


(6)  p. 154-156, Bringing it all Together:  The Basic Structure of the Grand Canyon

►More about the Grand Canyon at Answers in Genesis.

An unconformity is a surface of erosion that separates one rock layer from another.  In other words, the layers are not totally level because one has eroded a little before more sediment was laid down.  It did not conform to regular layering.

Various unconformities in order of the video:
  1. A disconformity occurs where there are parallel, stratified rock layers above and below a disconformity, but there is erosion between them.
  2. An angular conformity is at an angle, with more layers on top if it.  The Great Unconformity is an angular connformity in the Grand Canyon.
  3. A nonconformity  is when stratified layers rest on top of unstratified layers, such as the separation of metamorphic or igneous rock and the first layer of sedimentary rock on top of it. (Nonconformity isn't labeled in your book, but it is there at the bottom of the picture.)
  4. Paraconformities will be discussed in Module 8.
An intrusion forms when magma from under the sedimentary rock is injected into the cracks of the sedimentary rock.  It hardens into a "vein" of igneous rock.
Intrusions that run parallel to the sedimentary layers are called sills (horizontal like a window sill).
Intrusions that run perpendicular to the sedimentary layers are called dikes.  Perpendicular lines form a kind of T to each other.

The lower layers were indeed laid down before upper ones, but that does not mean it took millions or billions of years.  It shows the relative age - how they are related shows that one is older than another, but not by how much.
Remember, there is nothing between the layers to indicate great amounts of time had passed.  No plants that grew, not enough weathering, etc.

1:50 - nonconformity on top of intrusive igneous rock.
3:05 - disconformity
3:48 - angular conformity
4:25 - intrusion

Monday, October 24, 2011

FREE Sign Language Lessons

Copyright © Dr. Bill Vicars, sign language resources at

Learn American Sign Language for free at American Sign Language University at
There are 30 free lessons that are meant to cover 2 semesters for 1 full credit.
(The page at the ↑ above Lesson link shows the lesson links 1-30, then at the bottom shows the same lessons broken down by semester and unit.)
Each lesson has Objectives listed at the top with links to other learning resources.  Each lesson has videoed vocabulary, sentences, and sometimes a videoed "story."

The links below are from various places on the site, and you'll come across some from within the actual lessons.  I put them here in one place for easy reference.

► Practice Quizzes for each Lesson
► Quizzes and Cumulative Tests
► An additional Quiz for Lesson 1
► ASL Dictionary (at the top, you can also click on Phrases for all the sentences for each lesson, or click on Advanced.)

► Multiple fingerspelling charts, some with no letters written in for the purpose of practicing.
► Alphabet - hover your mouse over a letter
► Interactive Fingerspelling Practice Quizzes
► Printable wordsearch "Fingerseeks"
 Fingerspelling Practice Watch the word spelled and type in your answer.  Choose speed and # of letters.  Scroll down and choose from different categories.
► Article: Lexicalized Fingerspelling

► Numbers and tips for signing numbers, plus video for numbers 1-50.
Numbers Practice Watch the number signed and type in your answer.  Choose speed and number range. - the online chats that started it all, discussion among online students.

►Another sign language site is ASL Pro.  It looks like it would be a good reference site.  I like the Conversational Phrases.  =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apologia General Science, Module 5, The History of Life: Archaeology, Geology, and Paleontology

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Quizlet M5

• Tree-Ring Dating Lesson Page (I used the lesson part only)
Tree-Ring Science (student page)
Flood Legends
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)

(1) p. 111-112a, How Do We Learn About the History of Life

Archaeology - the study of past human life as revealed by preserved relics.

Geology - the study of earth's history as revealed in the rocks that make up the earth.

Paleontology - the study of life's history as revealed in the preserved remains of once-living plants and animals.


(2) p. 112-116, Archaeology and History

There are three tests to evaluate historical documents:
  1. The internal test evaluates whether or not the document contradicts itself.
  2. The external test checks whether or not the document being examined contradicts any other known historical or archaeological facts.
  3. The bibliographic test is the most important and makes sure the document is essentially the same as the original.
    To do this, this test requires 1st- or 2nd-hand reports based on eyewitness accounts.
    Two other important factors are (1) how many different copies are made by many different people, further clarifying that the copies were accurate, and (2) if the copies were made not too many years after the original.  The shorter the time period, the more reliable.
When using the internal test, we must always apply Aristotle's dictum because what seems to be a contradiction might not be a contradiction due to difficulties in translation.
Any unverified inconsistencies must be examined, taking into account that language and its use changes over time.
Aristotle's dictum:  The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the [historical] document itself; not assigned by the critic to himself.

Here is an example of how the English language has changed.  This example is only from about 600 years ago!
Brace yourself - you'll either cringe or laugh!  =D


For the next several sections, I could find no videos.
I did give brief descriptions above of the three tests applied to historical documents, but that is all.  =)


(3) p. 124-128, Archaeology in the Absence of Historical Documents

Dendrochronology - study of tree rings to determine the age of a tree

Dendrochronology is not a completely accurate way of dating artifacts; the calculated age from a dating method such as dendrochronology is called an absolute age.
An absolute age is not absolute, however -- it just means that through calculations, an age has been assigned to the item being studied.
A known age is much more accurate, and in archaeology, is the only one that is certain.
  • Known age – the age is determined by a date printed on it (ex. on a coin) or a reference to the artifact in an authentic work of history (like a tomb or king was referenced in a document)Very few artifacts have known ages.
  • Absolute age – the calculated age of an artifact from a specific dating method [such as dendrochronology] that is used to determine when the artifact was made.Absolute ages are dates that are assigned to an artifact or document.  Absolute age does not mean it is totally correct.  It is a close estimate.
The only ages that are certain in archaeology are the KNOWN AGES.

Ages determined by dendrochronology [dendrochronology ages are absolute ages] are upper limits for the age of an artifact.  In other words, that is the oldest it could possibly be, but it might be younger. 
Sometimes trees have 2 rings in one year, so dendrochronology shows the oldest that the tree could be, or the oldest that the artifact associated with the wood could be.
Examples of artifacts that may be studied are old ships, Pilgrim dwellings, a Navajo canoe.

An absolute age is a close estimate, and in the case of dendrochronology, it is generally a high estimate.  It can’t be a low estimate, because a tree will not ever skip growing a tree ring that year.

Radiometric dating (also called Carbon-14 dating) is using a radioactive process to determine the age of an artifact.  This method is used on fossils (dinosaurs, etc), and is very unreliable.
IF the item is less than 3,000 years old, it is a little more reliable – about like dendrochronology – approximate, but not certain.
Radioactive/Carbon-14 dating gives an absolute age, which means a date has been assigned, but it is not  KNOWN AGE, which is the only age in archaeology that is certain.

Wow!  A huge dendrochronology laboratory!

►Dendrochronology testing of Doucet Hennessy House in Bathurst, New Brunswick
►Sometimes narrow rings do not indicate dry weather, but a crowded forest.  Video 1, Video 2
Learn more.  Intro to dendrochronology with Tom Windes (rhymes with kinds)
Learn a lot more with Tom Windes (Parts 1-8 total around 40 minutes)


(4)  p. 129-131, Relative Dating and the Principle of Superposition; What Do We Know about Human History?

It's fairly simple - the Principle of Superposition - but not necessarily true.

If you made a layer cake, and you have 5 layers of yellow cake, and each layer had creamy chocolate frosting in between, you can know when the layers were put there.
But you cannot tell whether the cake or the frosting was made first.

The Principle of Superposition says that when artifacts are found in rock or earth that is layered, the deeper layers were laid down first, and hold the older artifacts.  This is not necessarily true.  
When Noah’s Flood occurred, a lot of earth, rocks, bones, fossils, etc, were mixed together. 
If you have a jar with rocks, sand, and fine dirt in it, and mix it all up with water, the rocks will settle first, then the sand, then the dirt.
After the Flood, all this stuff had to settle back down, and it did so in layers called strata.  (Strata starts with the same letters as stripe, so that may help you remember it.)
Archaeologists often assume that layers are formed one at a time, over millions of years.
Layers can form one after the other as in the case of volcanic ash, but to say that all the artifacts found all over the world in the different layers were put there in order is false.

Archaeologists often get the relative age by using the Principle of Superposition.
The term "relative" means how something is positioned related to something else.

If I was in the audience and saw you standing on a platform, I might say you were on the left of the platform.
But you might say you were on the right of the platform.
Where we each say you were standing is relative to where we are ourselves.

If I laid a book on the table and asked you if it was moving, you would say no.
But if I asked an astronaut on the moon, he would say yes.

So because of the relativity of the layers, archaeologists often assume they were put there over time, and not simultaneously.  Many times artifacts are said to be millions of years old because they actually sank first with the more dense layers of sediment after the world-wide Flood.

"This law only applies to the rocks if they have not been scrambled up; if they have not been 'unconformed'."
But they have been scrambled up - by The Flood.  =)

No time-gap between the layers such as wind erosion, or plant life.

Did the Colorado River flow uphill?

Ark Hunter, Jeremy Wiles, joins Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor to discuss stories gathered from around the world while on a journey to find evidence of Noah's Ark.
(Jump up to about 3:55, and skip both commercials - about 1 min. each.)

Some interesting points:
If it was only a local flood, why build a boat?  Why not just go elsewhere during the flood?
How would anyone have had knowledge or even time to build a large boat in advance?
Why have birds onto the ark if it was only a local flood?
There are so many stories of the Flood all over the world!