help with rock unit...

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by luv2teach415, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Jan 17, 2008

    Does anyone have any ideas on things to do in a rock unit? Or where to begin?? I have to make a unit on rocks. I'm also trying to think about activities to do with students on rocks. Any ideas? Thanks
     
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  3. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jan 18, 2008

    We just finished our unit on Earth, which included rocks as well as the layers of the Earth, plates, erosion, and minerals. for the rock portion, they really enjoyed writing "rock songs" (or stories). After we talked about the rock cycle, they worked in pairs to write from the perspective of a rock about their life. They chose one type to start as (such as Molly Metamorphic), and then told how they were melted, thrown out of a volcano, etc. as they changed to each other type of rock. Many of them were very cute, and they really got into it.

    Also, to model the consistency of the Earth's mantle, we made the cornstarch-water mixture that acts as both a solid and a liquid. It really helped them wrap their minds around the concept of something being both (plus, they loved playing with it!).
     
  4. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Jan 18, 2008

    I did a unit on rocks when I was student teaching (last semester). I loved it and I think that helped the kids get into it. I even bought a coprolite (fossilized dinosaur poop) to show them. You should have seen them! It was hilarious. Half of them wouldn't touch it and the other half wanted to sniff it and even lick it! (I obviously discouraged the licking)

    Their favorite activity was a "pet rock." They each had to find their own rock to bring in. I had some for those who forgot. Using our scientific skills of observation, they answered questions about their rock's color, density, luster, hardness, etc. They had to name their rock. After they filled out their answer sheets, I picked up the sheets and rocks. I displayed the rocks and read each descriptions. The rest of the class got to guess which rock I was reading about.

    It was a good way for me to point out good scientific observations/recording and they generally noticed on their own when they hadn't done a thorough job. If no one could pick out their rock, they knew why.

    This is a unit when they can get really hands on. It's great. Lots of samples, lots of experiments, etc. I had a blast. I hope they did.
     
  5. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2008

    I love teaching about rocks! I have my Masters in Earth Science, so any chance I get to talk about it makes me happy!

    When I teach it (though I am an intermediate teacher, maybe you can modify some??), the kids enjoy:
    - dressing up as a geologist,
    - looking at different minerals and rocks,
    - making fudge (demonstates the cooling of the mantle to the crust),
    - building and comparing mountains made from popiscles sticks and mud (each group gets the same materials - it is up to them to design a mountain that will be most resistent to water erosion . . . pour a bottle of water on the top and see how much sediment flows away0
    - any chance to go outside and look at rocks and sediments
    - comparing water flow rate of different soils (e.g. sand vs. clay)

    Here's some sites I found that might help you:
    - http://www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/gelesson.htm

    - http://www.mii.org/lessons.html

    - http://www.lessonplanspage.com/Science23.htm

    Have fun! This is a great topic to teach!
     

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