In Chapter 4, the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf take refuge in what appeared to be an unoccupied cave during a horrific thunderstorm. They were caught off guard while they were dozing and the goblins captured everyone except Gandalf.

To begin, the boys watched an episode of Storm Chasers on Netflix.  (Even though this show is primarily about tornadoes, growing up in Oklahoma I know that there is often – but not always – thunder and lighting before a tornado.)  After the show, I read about thunderstorms from our book, “Children’s Weather Encyclopedia“.

Then we did a couple of science experiments.  Our first one was a bust.  We tried a lightning experiment where you rub a comb on wool and touch it to metal.  Nothing.  Then we tried rubbing the comb against our hair and touching it to metal.  Nothing.  Then we tried rubbing a balloon against our hair and touching metal.  Nothing.

This was about our tenth attempt after tweaking it several different ways:


Then our thunder experiment:


How to Write a Riddle:

Bilbo and Gollum go back and forth with riddles in the cave.  Gollum has promised to show Bilbo the way out if he can stump him.  Bilbo wins but only barely and narrowly escapes Gollum in the end.

We read how to write a riddle from here.  Then each of the boys wrote their own riddle with some guidance from me.  Finally, they called dad and asked him the riddle.  He was able to guess Zach and Chris’ but was stumped by Justin’s riddle.

See if you can figure them out:

Asking dad the riddle over the phone

Asking dad the riddle over the phone

Asking dad the riddle over the phone

I keep it cold. I am a rectangle. I never sleep. What am I?
I die when you blow on me. I need food. I can be carried if you are careful. What am I?
I am made early in the morning. I am sweet and decorated. I can be used as a bribe by parents. What am I?
#1: refrigerator #2: candle #3: donut