Friday, 30 November 2012

Wombeyan Caves

We have spent the last 3 days visiting Wombeyan Caves. You can visit the cave's websites here and here. We decided to take the rather scary Wombeyan Caves Road to the Caves. You can find plenty of images on Google of the state of repair of this road.  Fortunately the road has just been regraded and we made it along fine past all the sheer drops hundreds of meters to the side of the single lane dirt road.

View from the road

View from the road

We stayed in the old post office cottage which was frankly - old! It even came with its own outside toilet. We took 2 guided cave tours; the Kooringa Cave and the Wollondilly Cave. The formations were amazing as was our guide. We were even lucky enough to have the tour completely to ourselves for the Wollondilly Cave. We also took the self guided tour through the Fig Tree cave which eventually opens out at the huge Victoria Arch.

Post Office Cottage

On the way to the caves

On the hill - the caves are underneath us

Lot's wife and the cockatoo

Victoria Arch

Inside Victoria Arch - L for scale

We all also got to hold and examine a piece of stalagmite which is translucent when you shine a torch through it.

We also had time to do a couple of bush walks. One along the Mares Forest Creek Track led us to the Tinted Cave and a chilly swimming hole. The waterfall track took us past an old marble quarry and along to a small waterfall. There was plenty of wildlife along the walks and around the visitors centre including kangaroos and wallabys, bats, birds and butterflies and other insects.

Entering the Tinted Cave

Looking onto the creek from inside the cave

Building a dam

Bush walks are exciting when you're this tall!

The guides are planning to open up some other areas of the caves, along with evicting the brown snake from the Junction Cave, so there is still lots that we haven't seen yet and I expect we'll be back soon.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Net Sculptures

Today we studied this sculpture from Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi Beach. Its made of drift wood, and other items found on the beach surrounded by fishing nets and ropes.

The children designed their own sculpture by using sea creature stencils. They drew inside the outline all sorts of items that they thought we might find on the beach. Once these were coloured they added the nets and ropes over the top using black pen.

Shark by R

Crab by L

Garden Diorama

Today the children constructed a diorama of our garden. We will use this to display and evaluate our  sculpture mock-ups next week.

Here are some sculptures in the garden. 

ANZAC Biscuits

Today we were reading about the War memorial  in Canberra  We got onto ANZAC biscuits and decided to make our own. Delicious!

Four Squares With Paragraphs

This week we took our writing off the four square (see previous posts) and into a paragraph.

By R

By R

By L

By L

Monday, 19 November 2012

Project Time 19.11.12

Today R has been following up his interest in waterfalls since our trip to Morton and Budderoo national parks. Read about that trip here. We started with an experiment to show how a waterfall forms.

Basically you make a mountain of sand representing soft rock. Bury something hard in the mountain to represent hard rock - we used a brick. Pour water (rain) on top of the mountain and watch the river form. The water wears away the sand quickly. The hard rock does not wear away. Eventually the soft rock downstream wears away and a step or waterfall is formed where the two rock types meet.

You can see a good animations showing the process here and here.

Afterwards R read through some reference books on rivers and drew this diagram.

A river by R

Today L wanted to know why convicts get put in prison. She has been very interested in convicts since we went to Dubbo Gaol (scroll down on this link for that part). We looked for books in the library but they are all way too complicated for a 4 year old. However we stumbled across this website from the Hyde Park Barracks. There's lots of pictures, videos and activity ideas here. We haven't visited the barracks yet so we will do that soon.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Indian Cookery

This week in history we have been looking at ancient India. The children cooked this Indian meal for the family. We made vegetable biryani, banana curry and chapati breads.


Vegetable biryani & banana curry

Garden Design Boards

Today we looked carefully at our garden and recorded what visual information we could find. We focused on colours, shapes, patterns and textures. The children drew with pencils, painted and took photographs. They presented their information on a design board. We will use this information when we come to designing our outdoor sculptures.

By L

By R