August 27, 2013

Rock Unit Outline in Unpolished Form

We are starting our new school year next Tuesday (day after Labor Day) and we are pretty excited.  I've been working on lesson plans like a crazy person and I'm almost ready.  We are starting science with the unit my children most looked forward to last year that we didn't end up getting to: Rocks.  

I won't lie--I wasn't as excited as the children. I don't think science is very interesting in general (no people) but rocks are even more uninteresting than most science.  BUT . . . I found a website of a science teacher who is amazing and now I'm actually looking forward to this unit.  You can find the blog here:

Most of this unit is taken directly from Beakers and Bumblebees.  I also supplemented with youtube pretty heavily because I understand science better when I hear it explained.  

We'll be doing science on Mondays and Tuesdays this year so this unit as written should last five weeks.  I expect it to last longer though because we'll be doing some rockhounding on some of our science days.  I just haven't worked out the details of those trips. 

If you want information on good places to rockhound in Utah check out:  This website has detailed instructions for polishing stones:  I also appreciated this website: and will be stealing her scripture idea.  I hope to memorize the scripture and the rock songs and vocab by the end of the unit.

The scripture she used is: 

M: Extra Book: Rocky Road Trip (Ms. Frizzle)

Day One (Pet Rocks):
Read: Everybody Needs a Rock
Practice our rock song:

We will ROCK you!

We will we will rock you!
we will we will rock you!

Volcanos erupt with lava so hot
it cools and hardens and its igneous rock cuz
rocks can change...all over this place...
they weather, and melt, and get rearranged!

We will we will rock you!
we will we will rock you!

Rock gets weathered into tiny tiny rocks
layers and layers get piled on top
it gets compacted, its elementary
this rock will become sedimentary

we will we will rock you
we will we will rock you!

Any type of rock under heat and pressure
becomes metamorphic and thats for sure
cuz rocks can change, all over this place..
they weather, and melt and get rearranged

we will we will rock you
we will we will rock you!

Make pet rocks!
·      Google eyes
·      Fabric for clothes/capes/hats
·      Paint
·      Pet rock description papers (name, date of birth, personality traits, likes/dislikes)

Day Two (Fossil Fuels):
·      Start learning vocabulary

o   Fossil fuels: nonrenewable resources found deep in the Earth, formed by the remains of ancient plants and animals. Coal, Oil, and natural gas are the three fossil fuels
o   Coal- a fossil fuel formed by the remains of ancient plants
o   Oil- a fossil fuel formed by the remains of ancient plants and animals.
o   Natural gas- a fossil fuel formed by ancient plants and animals. It is a flammable odorless gas.

·      Fossil Fuels Song!
(to row, row, row your boat)

Oil, coal, and natural gas
we use them everyday.
These three fossil fuels
are formed in special ways.

Oil comes from animals and plants
plus time, pressure, and heat.
Natural gas in the same way and
coal is formed from peat!

Put resources in the correct area of the chart:

Renewable Resource: Resources that can be replaced

Nonrenewable Resource: Resources that cannot be replaced
oil (fossil fuel)
coal (fossil fuel)
natural gas (fossil fuel)

Inexhaustible Resources: Resources that will not run out

Day Three (Earth’s Layers):
Read: The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
Read: If Rocks Could Sing

Add to vocabulary:
Crust- the outermost layer of the Earth
Mantle- the middle layer of the Earth
Core- the innermost layer of the Earth

Make a model of the earth’s crust out of paper (circular, basic model)

Color and label more complex model.

Make oreo model.  The outside chocolate cookie represents the crust, the cream represents the squishy mantle, the chocolate syrup represents the liquid iron outer core, and the m&m represents the solid iron inner core!

Have hard-boiled eggs for lunch.

Day Four (Erosion/Weathering):
*Practice song
*Practice vocab

Read: I Am a Rock
Read: If You Find a Rock
Read: Rocks and Soil, Simple Science
Read: pgs. 24 – 27 of 100 Things

Add to vocab:
Weathering: The break down and wearing away of rock into sediment
Deposition: the process in which sediment is dropped in a new place.
Landform: a natural structure on Earth’s surface
Delta: a large flat area of land at the mouth of a river
Erosion: The movement of sediment by water, waves, wind, or ice
Sediment: bits of rocks, soil, sand, shells, and the remains of organisms.
Glacier: a large body of moving ice that stays frozen all year.

Eat a gobstopper while watching video to do our own weathering.

Get dirt in paint roller thingy, weather it with wind (blow through straw), rain (spray bottle), waves (fill bottom up with water and roll the water toward the dirt)

Do acid rain experiment (rocks in water vs. vinegar): pgs. 12-13 in Science Fair Projects: Rocks and Minerals

Day Five (Sedimentary Rock/Minerals):
Read pgs. 14 – 17 in 100 Things About Rocks
Read Sedimentary Rocks
Read A Gift From the Sea

Review vocab and song
Add to vocab:
Sedimentary Rock: rock that formed when sediments were pressed and cemented together.

Put together a sheet of paper with description of minerals.

Make our own sedimentary rock: weather graham crackers (sediment), add clumps of butter and sugar and m&ms (more sediment) bake for a few minutes until firm to show what adding heat will do.

Make this oreo layered dessert: and eat it at supper while discussing the layers.

Day Six (Igneous Rock):
Read pgs. 10-13 of 100 Things You Should Know
Read Igneous Rocks

Add to vocab:
Igneous rock- rock formed from cooled magma or lava.

Melt chocolate and pour it over ice cream to see if it hardens when exposed to the cold.  Then have it harden on a plate more slowly and see if it looks different than the chocolate that melted quickly.

Day Seven (Metamorphic Rock):
Practice vocab and songs
Add to vocab: Metamorphic rock- rock that formed when another kind of rock was squeezed and heated deep inside Earth’s crust.

Read pgs. 18-21 in 100 Things
Read Metamorphic Rocks

Take a Snickers bar and apply heat and pressure—see what it looks like afterwards.

Day Eight (Rock Cycle):
Read pgs. 6 – 9 of 100 Things You Should Know About Rocks

Add to vocab: Rock cycle- the process of rocks changing into other kinds of rock.

Put together rock cycle handout (I got it here:

Day Nine (Review):
Read Let’s Go Rock Collecting
Read Weird But True Rocks

Make crayon rocks—all three types of rocks using shaved crayons.

Day 10 (Rock Labeling):
Read Rocks in His Head
Read 100 Things pg. 28 – end
Read Rocks and Minerals
Read Cool Rocks

Get out rock collections, discuss which rocks fall into which rock groups, test hardness, classify by color, hardness, etc. 

(I’ll be looking at the rock collection we purchased throughout the unit, but this day is about comparing the rocks we’ve found with the ones we already have labeled and seeing if we can identify the rocks we’ve collected.)

Play with our rocks.  Make more pet rocks, label our egg carton collections, sing our songs, review what we’ve learned.  Pull apart cookies to find the “minerals” that make up the “rock.” 

Any suggestions from those of you who are rock experts would be appreciated!

No comments:

Post a Comment