Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Science - Resurrection Rolls

Our tradition each year, is to make a batch of Resurrection Cookies, on the night before Easter. We've been doing it for long enough the children are quite familiar with the process, and the results. But, up until this week, they had not seen Resurrection Rolls, a fact that worked to the advantage of my Science Sunday plans.


I called them into the kitchen for a "science" project, and gave them each a large marshmallow to dip into melted butter, and then roll cinnamon and sugar. I told them when people make Resurrection Rolls, the marshmallow represents Christ's body, and the butter and cinnamon mixture are for the oil and spices used to prepare the body for burial - they thought that was pretty gross.


We've blown up enough marshmallows in the microwave over the past few years, that I figured the children would have a pretty good idea of what was going to happen to the marshmallows, sealed inside of crescent rolls, in the oven.


In fact, if they take nothing else away from our years of homeschooling, I'm fairly certain they will at least remember, hot air expands - maybe even that it expands, because as the thermal energy increases, the molecules in the air vibrate faster and faster, causing them to bump into each other, and move apart, pushing against the sides of whatever container they are in.

And if, as in this case, the container happens to be a sugary marshmallow, softened by the heat of the oven, then the expanding air will push against, and expand it, until it bursts open, releasing the air, which goes bouncing and expanding on into open space, while the now empty marshmallow, deflates.

And if, all of this happens inside of a baking roll, the sides of the roll will push out, while they are still doughy, and then harden into place, thanks again to the heat of the oven, where they will remain, even after the marshmallow deflates, leaving a nice, hollow cavity inside the roll, resembling an empty tomb.


Since they already knew all of that, I ask them to take their knowledge, based on past scientific observations, and predict what might happen to a roll, not sealed as well...



...or to a roll sealed around an empty space, with no marshmallow...



...or to a marshmallow, not sealed into a roll.

They guessed spot on for the first two scenarios, but were little surprised at the crunchy, yummy, candy like substance the lone marshmallow became. Clearly, we have not yet performed enough sugar based experiments. I'll have to think of some way to rectify that.


Then, while the children snacked on the results of our research, most of which did resemble empty tombs, I read to them Byran Davis' The Story of the Empty Tomb from Arch Books, turning our science lesson back into the Bible lesson it was meant to be.

The story, retells the account from John chapter 20, in a fun to read, and nicely illustrated, rhyming text, typical of Arch Books.

The back note to parents suggests following up the story with "a special dinner or outing with the family, celebrating the new life that Jesus died to win for us." The Resurrection Rolls fit the bill pretty nicely.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Linked with this week's Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.

9 comments:

Christy said...

I plan on doing this too. I I'll have to try the lone marshmallow!

Jill@babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, Oh My! said...

this was a such a simple idea that i could even do this and get my little kiddos to relate! i really enjoy your blog and all you do with your kids!

Phyllis said...

I love how you use the scientific method with your science activities. I had such great anticipation to see what you would do with the resurrection rolls and you did not disappoint me!! Wonderful science activity!

Ticia said...

My last attempt at Resurrection rolls did not go well, but I think we had the not properly sealed ones, so it just made ooey gooey yummy mess.

Joyful Learner said...

You never cease to amaze me. Love the resurrection rolls!

Annette W. said...

So just make sure they are sealed well and bake for the time on the can?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Annette - Yep!

Homeschooling Special Kids said...

We used to make those every year when I was a kid!

Raising a Happy Child said...

This is pretty neat. I've never heard of resurrection rolls before. Perhaps we will try it out too for Easter morning.