Category Archives: God With No Hands

God With No Hands Projects – Revisited

Chart 1 showing the size relationship between the Earth and the Sun.

One of the ways children show me how they are processing the impressionistic lesson of the formation of the Universe is by how they are interpreting the posters in our room which are used during the presentation.

First, the most immature child processes this wonderful impressionistic story very literally.  I find this is often a young first year child.  This vision is not wrong for where the child is developmentally.  I know the child will see it from a different facet as he is older.

The second and third year child (and often the first year upper child) is wanting to show what he believes really happened at that moment on the Earth. His drawings are more “photo realistic.”

Volcanos spewing smoke. The sun hides herself behind a veil of ashy clouds.

For the older Upper Elementary child,  the interpretation is often back to the impression of the work.  He understands the work and many of the concepts literally and is now ready to put his individual stamp on Dr. Montessori’s work.

AV and JV had become interested in creating their own God With No Hands cards.

Well not cards in the case of AV.  AV wants to quilt the felt to make a soft poster.

JV has been focused on a minimalist approach. JV is using cut paper. Elegant.

I find the child’s vision is very helpful for discussions of other Montessori lessons.  It provides a window into the child’s thoughts, understandings, and tendencies.

I have observed some Montessori classes shading photo copies of the charts as line art sheets and making a book.  I would find this difficult for me as a directress, because the meeting of the child with the story is personal and provides such a window into her soul.  I wouldn’t want to miss those clues.

Our actual lesson and my charts are here.  The core text is here.


Filed under Art, AV, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, JV, Montessori

Winogradsky Column – Montessori Style

Putting mud in the Winogradsky column.

Since we’ve been discussing a time before multi-celled organisms, we thought it would be fun to explore all manner of DNA and eukaryotic cells.  One of our outlets is the Winogradsky Column.  It is a way of cultivating lots of different types of bacteria.   Both aerobic and anaerobic respiration take place in a slurry of mud, pond water, egg, and newspaper encased in a 2 liter bottle.  It takes about a month for all the different species of bacteria to create their various strata.


Sergei Winogradsky  pioneered the idea that certain bacteria can photosynthesize food. He discovered that if he created a column of various substances then various types of microorganisms can be grown.  Oxygen moves downward while various bacterial by-products move upward in the column.

Because different Microbes eat different items, the microbes can recycle waste from other microbes and items from nature to keep the environment surviving.  One of the building blocks of nature is sulfur – we use egg to provide sulfur to the system.

Some bacteria thrive in aerobic environments while others need chemicals found in an anaerobic environment.Winogradsky Columns allow for the visualization of these different bacteria. The incubation of the bacteria for weeks allows various colonies to grown.  The colors of the chemicals the various bacteria need to survive color them brilliant hues.

Needless to say.  We had to do it.  We didn’t realize that this was not supposed to be age appropriate to our group.  Oh well.  Don’t tell the kids.

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Filed under Biology, BW, DW, gardening, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, Practical Life - Elementary, Science

Beyond the Clock of Eras

Recently I began musing the step beyond the impressionism of the Clock of Eras.  I decided to insert six lessons focusing on the process of the rise of life. I enjoyed the Claremont unrolling of the clock into a timeline.  The primary aim is for the 9 to 12.  We did our first lesson on Tuesday.

Materials to make or acquire for Lesson 1

  1. Stellar nucleosynthesis work  (remove the tiny circles of the elements)
  2. The charts from the God With No Hands Lesson
  3. Pre-hadean and Hadean Eon materials
    • small Periodic Table  (that will fit at the end of the stellar nucleosynthesis work
    • picture of a cratered planet
    • paper for the sea soup chart
    • bottle of ammonia (for WAFTING not sniffing)
    • Avery label-like dots in 6 colors
    • Black Sharpie

Notes:  Because of their age, the children will remember doing works from elementary but will recall the impressions and the joy of the works.  We are going to ask them to add a layer to their impressions of these works.  This is much like the third years leading the God With No Hands Lesson.

Goal for Lesson 1:   To see how the elements and compounds created in the tumult of the earth’s creation led to complex carbon chains being formed.


Show the God With No Hands Charts (hanging on the wall) or in the form of the small hand drawn cards.

Invite the children to remember back to their first year in Lower Elementary when they first heard about the God With No Hands.  So much has happened since that time.

Give the children space to remember together.  Invite them to retell the story and put the cards in order.

After a bit.

Ask a child to unroll the Stellar Nucleosynthesis mat and allow the children to begin forming the star explosions.  Some one will inevitably ask about the elements that you have removed.

Ahh.  I thought we could put a periodic table of the elements down.  What do you think?  

Place it at the end of the work. Take out the new black ribbon and unroll it to the end of the Hadaen eon.

At the beginning of the ribbon indicate the God With No Hands Chart 1.

Remember when God spoke and the laws that govern the universe were created and the stars began to heat and explode creating the basic elements (indicate the Stellar Nucleosynthesis work) until Supernova stars exploded and all the elements were strewn across the universe.  Remember how time passed as the elements and gravity worked together to create Solar Systems and planets.  (lay down the burning earth card)

We need to take up the story again and see how the laws that govern the universe work out on Earth.

Lay down the pre-Hadaen card.

This time before the Earth had formed a tentative crust lasted a long time.  Scientists think that it might have begun about 14.5 Billion years ago and lasted to 4.5 Billion years ago.  That is 10 billion years. 

Indicate the God With No Hands Chart of the earth exploding and spewing smoke.

As the earth cooled enough to form a crust that was always rupturing and spewing out volcanic matter into the atmosphere and onto the crust; change was beginning to take place.  This is a very chaotic time.

The laws of the universe worked to draw the heavier metals like iron to the core of the Earth. The lighter elements moved outward.  Many of them were spewed out by means of volcanoes.  These chemicals comprised Earth’s early atmosphere.  It was very different that the modern atmosphere.  Do you know what makes up our atmosphere now?

While they are discussing this, lay down your paper to draw on.  The answer is: mostly a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen.

Scientists theorize that the early atmosphere was a combination of ammonia (NH), helium, hydrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4).  (pass around the ammonia to WAFT and discuss the smell of methane gas – breaking wind). Write down “ammonia” and under it place two Avery label-type colored dots.  Continue with the others using the chemical layout of the atoms. The colors represent the elements throughout.

It began to rain the ash, soot, and dust particles out of the atmosphere.  The rains also washed the ammonia, methane and lots of heavy metals, too into the newly forming seas.  The seas became soupy with all these chemicals.

Using the paper begin to show how Carbon forms long chains – use the dots to form a fat chain.

Carbon is an element that has a strong attraction to its own kind and likes to form long chains.  These chains could be thousands of molecules long.  This is the gift of carbon to the world.  It is the only element that can form four very strong bonds with itself.  These strong bonds are called covalent bonds.  It also likes to form strong bonds with hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur.    The seas became full of a toxic mix of these very long carbon chains.

Lay down the ticket for the Hadaen Eon.

Because of the Hell-like environment on Earth, this Eon’s name comes from the Greek for Hell – Hades.  This is not a particularly long time period.  It lasted from 4.5 to 3.8 BillionYears ago. It lasted 70,000,000 years.



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Filed under Astronomy, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, Montessori, Physics, Science

I dedicated this year…

This morning BW arrived and began working on his latest project.  He has become fixated on dinosaurs. This has led us to the impressionistic lesson of the Clock of Eras.  We’ve looked at the clock a couple of ways.

The first was for BW to find an object that was a large enough circle to match the clock poster.  He traced it and we worked out folding it fractionally to add up to the 12 “hours” on the clock.  Each wedge was cut out and methodically/frantically BW shaded the colors of the impressionistic chart onto each wedge.  The last few wedges involved using a protractor to measure and transfer the angles onto the wedges so that the sizes would be correct.  This project was done over three days and represents one of his best pieces completed with minimal adult guidance.


BW's Liner Clock of Eras with his 12 hour measurement (8am to 8 pm) and Gary Davidson's tickets photocopied because BW's hands still don't love tons of writing.

The second way was to measure colored yarn pieces and tie them together in the appropriate length to see the scale linearly. In the same process, BW and his mom measured out the back door and across the back yard to the beginning of time. This helped him realize that the creation of the universe and the creation of the crusted Earth are two vastly different things.


BW's own Clock of Eras

The third way was to set the timer beginning at 8:00 for the appropriate amount of time for each of the Eons and Epochs.  As the day progressed the timer would go off . They used their timer in the Ipad and set the buzzer to the sound they though illustrated the period.

BW has been doing his writing by taking a particular dinosaur and making an outline.

I.  Reproduce.

A.  Oviperious

All the way through Roman numeral number four. After we correct for spelling, he dictates sentences to me that I type and then print out and staple with his outline.  He does several a day.  He is loving the study of the march of life through time.

He declared, as he finished his Clock of Eras glue down,  “This is an appropriate work because I’ve dedicated this year to the study of time!”


Filed under Biology, BW, Geography and World Studies, Geology, God With No Hands, Science

It is project week and I’m not pulling out my hair!

Wow!  I know.  How can this miraculous event be happening?  I’m not asking any questions; I’m just going with it.

Where are our imaginary islands located?

AV’s is 500 miles off the coast of the northern most Japanese island.  He has determined that he has a volcanic island.  Most of his time has been looking for migratory bird patterns for food sources and at neolithic Japanese cultures.  He is very interested in the dogus. His island is small at 4,500 square miles.

JV’s island is in the Tasman Sea between New Zeland and Australia. His island is 12,000 square miles; it broke off of Australia but because of plate tectonics his is considered a volcanic island. He has been researching cloud forests to figure out if he can have one (yes) and where it should be located due to weather patterns.

LR’s island is 400 miles off the coast of  Nambia. He has been very focused on the land and water forms that would be found in this seamount island. It is part of a undersea mountain chain.

BR’s island is a mammoth island that is about the size of Madasgar which breaks off of eastern India as it smashes into the Asian continent.  He has done quite a bit of research to figure out his soil compositions and is very interested in the proto-“indian” language groups which would inform his island’s name.  We are currently looking at the Dravidian language groups.  He is planning on visiting a south Indian grocery store today to understand how to phonetically pronounce the words he wants.

DW is working quietly through her island which is located in the middle of  the Pacific and consists of six islands and lots of water.

This project is keeping the attention of the children highly focused.  It requires information from every area of the classroom.  It also allows for interest to vary.

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Filed under "Coming of Man", AV, BR, DW, Geography and World Studies, Geology, God With No Hands, JV, LR, Oceans and their creatures, Projects, Science, Tectonics, Volcanoes

And we went into the rabbit hole . . .

The focus of Darwin Week at the College of Charleston is the intersection of faith and science.

Last night we went to the First Baptist Church for a discussion on the history of Evolution and Creation thought by Dr. Karl Giberson of the BioLogos Forum.  It was very thorough.

Today we went to lunch at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Episcopal. Dr. Giberson discussed the difficulties those who are attempting to have meaningful discussions among the various “camps” in the Evolution/Creation debate. The children were able to follow the discussion somewhat and asked questions.

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Filed under AR, AV, BR, BW, DW, God With No Hands, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, LR

More Sewing – and More Sewing

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Filed under AR, Astronomy, AV, BR, Chemistry, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, Physics, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Sewing