Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Project: Peanut Butter and Jelly Geology

I love learning about fossils, and they are often the topics of my books.  When I was a child in Minneapolis, Minnesota, my family used to go on rock and fossil collecting expeditions. I still remember climbing cliffs along the Mississippi river to collect chunks of limestone and the thrill of cracking them open.  If we were lucky, we would find inside the perfectly preserved skeleton of a creature that had lived millions of years earlier. Later, on a camping trip to the Grand Canyon, I remember looking at the layered rock of the canyon walls and learning how each one represented a period of geologic time.

"Earth Sandwich" an edible demonstration of various layers of the Earth's crust
One of my all time favorite classroom projects is making  an “Earth Sandwich” as a model of the layers of the earth.  Each part of the sandwich represents a part of Earth’s crust.  When you cut the sandwich in half, it is a little like looking at the walls of the Grand Canyon.  As you enjoy your Earth Sandwich, you are eating your way through time!
To make your sandwich, you will need:
    pumpernickel bread for coal
    rye bread for sandstone
    white bread for limestone
    peanut butter for dirt
    jelly for oil or tar
    raisins for boulders
    pretzel sticks for fossil bones
My recent books about fossils include Global Warming and the Dinosaurs and Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age.

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