I love doing my rock unit with my class. They are so interested in rocks and there are so many activities you can do with it. Each year, I have a parent tell me that their child is so interested, they wanted books and rock collections to keep at home!
My favorite activities is making the anchor charts for each type of rock. This chart demonstrating how metamorphic rocks are formed, was done as a group. Colored pencils and markers were taken out and we placed the chart paper on the table and gathered around. I drew lines and rocks in the middle and class helped to color it in. Later, I added the labels and arrows.
This was our very messy brace map that we also created together. I wanted the children to understand the way a sedimentary rock is created. We used layers of sand, dirt, and gravel with insane amounts of Elmer's glue on a science fair board. We took turns adding layers. We had a little trouble putting it all together on the left due to the confined space, but the children understood the concept of sedimentary rocks.
This is the unit wall with the big idea and essential questions. The bottom right hand corner is the interactive writing chart showing how igneous rocks are formed. I had a couple of student who were enamored with this type of rock. They couldn't get enough of pumice and obsidian.
The left has an interactive writing on how minerals make rocks. The right is integrating print concepts. We sort letters, words, sentences by using vocabulary and sentences that are unit related.
Sometimes I challenge the children with a higher level thinking question. I don't expect them to be able to write the answer at this stage, but I will take dictation and they are expected to draw a picture for their answer.
This was an experiment with floating and sinking. The children were given a baggie with pumice, obsidian, granite and marble. They were asked to inspect each rock. Then make a prediction about whether it will float or sink. I charted the predictions.
Students were given the chance to try out the rocks.They were asked to place them in the correct category of the chart. The only floater was pumice.
Here was another higher level thinking question that followed up our experiment.
This is our rock unit integrated into math. We have counting collections, word problems, and number bonds.
Finally, we created our projects. We needed to create something that uses rocks.
This is a stage made of rocks.
This was a rock extractor. It removes rocks from the water so they can be used to build things.
Rocks used for landscaping.
I hope you found this interesting.