Monday, August 12, 2013

story of the world 3: a world of empires (chap.1) make a gold mine shaft

Today we had fun listening to the first chapter of Story of the World Volume 3. We discussed how the Spanish took over South America in the year 1600. I had no idea they took over five hundred billion dollars worth of gold and silver from the native South Americans. I love relearning history right along with my kids.

A little forewarning should you decide to do this activity . . . it's messy!

We cleaned out a trash can and added some "gold" to the bottom. We used Reese's Pieces, but you could use any yellow candy. 

Next, we dumped in five pounds of flour--that's all I had on hand. The book recommends ten pounds, but they got the idea with five.

We built a "mine shaft" with large popsicle sticks. The goal was to get to the "gold" without the mine collapsing. My girls (ages 7 & 9) spent a half hour trying to figure it out. They did a pretty good job. They also used some construction paper and scotch tape to make a few rings around the popsicle sticks. They slowly brought the gold up the shaft piece by piece. They learned how dangerous the mining job was for the South Americans. 

This activity would not be complete without a little free play. They added water to the flour and spent an hour making creations in the backyard. Then they spent another half hour in the shower trying to get all the dried flour off their arms! 

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