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5th Grade Spelunkers Study the Creator's Handiwork in Hands-on Earth Science

October 07, 2016
By Dan Wickline, Fifth Grade Teacher

In Fifth Grade Science we are looking at the wonderful earth God created and trying to understand how it works. Knowing how God created the Earth for us allows us to understand Him better. We have just wrapped up our first unit; Earth Processes. We spent time looking at the layers of the earth, how the Earth’s surface changes, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, and the rock cycle. During our study of the rock cycle we made rock cycle fudge to see how heat changes things. It tasted great!

As a culmination activity we had the opportunity to visit Lake Shasta Caverns. The Caverns are really three adventures in one; a boat ride across the lake, a bus ride up the side of a steep mountain, and the caverns themselves. We hiked up and down the trails looking at all the fascinating formations that grow inside a cave. We learned that caverns are mostly made of limestone - water hollows them out and then fills them back up with formations called soda straws, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, cave bacon, draperies and helictites.

We divided into two groups and spent time digging for artifacts and spelunking (exploring a cave)!  After exiting the cave, we went down 251 steps to get back to the visitor center and return our headlights and crawling pads. When we got back to the gift store, we did some gemstone mining and found many gemstones for souvenirs.

Everyone had a wonderful time getting to marvel at God’s creation of this earth, and nobody complained of sore legs the next day...almost.