In Week Three of Discover the Desert, we started learning about the Mojave Desert. Discover the Desert Rocks theme was a hit! We learned where the Mojave Desert is, in the southwestern United States From Wikipedia: “occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona.” It is home to the coyote, rattlesnake, desert tortoise, bats and bobcat. You could expect to see sand dunes and rock formations. It is hot in the summer but can also be cold and wet in the winter.
One of the child care parents brought in a large rock. What a great addition to our theme! It has some kind of pattern on the top, like a fossil.
First, we used a length yarn to wrap around the rock and measure it. It measured 18″.
We talked more about fossils and looked at some of our pretend fossils. We use the Ancient Fossils TOOB by Safari Ltd. Then, to explore the texture, we tried some crayon rubbings on top of the rock. Fun!
Here we’re weighing the rock. It didn’t want to register very well on this scale, but we consistently got 10 lbs.
After some group work, the rock was left out for the week. It’s fun to use the scale!
Hundreds of years ago, people panned for gold in the Mojave. You can still find gold there today. Using mini tart pans, some rocks we found in the yard (some gravel was also included in the Experience Preschool Curriculum box), we panned for “gold”. This mostly looked like washing rocks but you can add sand and gold rocks to the mix. We painted some of the large rocks gold after the panning since all the paint I have is washable…
My group loved their special rocks and washing them in the pans.
Painting our “gold”.
Fabulous chunks of gold!
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