Really Radical Rocks!

A WebQuest for 3rd Grade

(Earth Science)

Introduction | Task | Process | Student Process

Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits


Introduction

Rocks are all around us. They are a part of the ground we walk on and in the houses we live in. Rocks come in so many varieties. How many are there? How can we arrange them into groups? In this webquest your class will explore the world of rocks.

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The Task

Students will:

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Materials:

potted plant, soil, water, rocks, disposable aluminum pans, container for water, newspapers

2 cups mini-marshmallows, 1 cup chocolate chips, smooth peanut butter, waxed paper,
hot plate, mixing bowl, mixing spoon.

plastic jars that students can easily carry with them ,4 large pieces of paper per student ,
markers , examples of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks (real, pictures in books, and/or pictures from internet)

rocks of assorted sizes and weights, white glue, a worksheet with a scale drawn on it, a balance scale

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The Process
  1. Read the book Rocks by Roy Gallant to the entire class.
  2. Explain that the webquest will consist of whole group activities and partner activities.
  3. Bookmark some relevant sites on your PC or Mac.
  4. Begin with the Class Process first.

Class Activity #1

1. As a class, point out evidence of erosion on the school grounds. Some good examples are often near drains, drain pipes, and at the edges of the blacktop.

2. Then have the students pair up with a partner to examine the rest of the area to look for other signs of erosion. Don't forget to set boundaries where students may explore.

3. When students find examples of erosion, they are to describe it in their journals and draw a labeled rough sketch of the erosion.

 

Class Activity #2

Materials
2 cups mini-marshmallows, 1 cup chocolate chips, smooth peanut butter, waxed paper,
hot plate, mixing bowl, mixing spoon.

Method

  1. Mix mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  2. Add just enough peanut butter so the mixture clumps together.
  3. Ask each student to grab a handful of the mixture and make a rock.
  4. Place "rocks" on waxed paper.
  5. Explain to students that right now, the rocks resemble sedimentary rocks. The marshmallows and the
    chocolate chips could be seen as sediments and the peanut butter could be seen as a mineral that sticks the sediments together.
  6. Place a few of the "rocks" on the pan and heat them over low heat. When the marshmallows melt, give each student a spoonful of the new "rocks".
  7. Explain to the students that these new rocks resemble metamorphic rock. The sedimentary rock changed its form and structure because of the heat.

Class Activity #3

Students will practice classifying rocks in the
categories sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.

Materials

plastic jars that students can easily carry with them , 4 large pieces of paper per student, markers, examples of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks (real, pictures in books, and/or pictures from internet)

Method

1. Explain to students the major classification system for rocks.

2. Show examples of rocks.

3. Give each student a jar. Ask students to collect as many different types of rocks that they can.

4. Give students about two weeks. At the end of this time have students bring their collections to school.

5. Hand out 4 large pieces of paper to each student and have them label them sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and not sure. Explain the different categories again and display the examples.

6. Ask students to try to categorize all of the rocks that they collected. When done, have the class view their classmates' collections and help each other with the rocks that others were not able to classify.

7. Have each student count the number of rocks that they collected in each category. On small pieces of paper, write down the number of rocks collected for each category. Tape these labels on the side of the jar.

8. Let students keep their jars as permanent collections.

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The Student Process

Activity #1

1. Provide each pair of students with a disposable aluminum baking tray, enough soil to fill the tray, water, small container, newspapers and some rocks. Cover each working area with newspapers.

2. Instruct students to fill their tray with soil, patting down to firm in place. Position rocks in the soil so that they can not move about freely.

3. Place the narrow side of the tray filled with soil and rocks on a book, so as to place the tray on a slant.

4. Next have one of the students pour little drops of water, starting at the highest part of the tray, so the water can run down the soil.

5. Ask students to notice if any changes are taking place in their trays. See if the soil or rocks are moving out of position.

6. Direct the other student to pour larger amounts of water at the highest part of the tray. Again, ask the students to describe what changes are taking place in the tray. Are they seeing signs of erosion?

Activity #2

View pictures and read information about rocks at these websites. Write what your learned at each site in your science journal.

http://www.hcc.hawaii.edu/hccinfo/instruct/div5/sci/sci122/Geopix/RkMin.html

http://mineral.galleries.com/default.htm

http://www.EnchantedLearning.com/classroom/quiz/rocks.shtml

Read about sedimentary rocks here

http://www.EnchantedLearning.com/subjects/sharks/glossary/Sedimentaryrock.shtml

Activity #3

Weighing Rocks

Read the following directions. Go to your science stations and record your experiment progress in your science journals. A copy of the directions will be at your station.

1. Each group will receive: rocks of assorted sizes and weights, white glue, a worksheet with a scale drawn on it, and a balance scale.

2. Look at the rocks. Discuss the weight of each rock with your partners and write how we will find out which rocks are the heaviest.

3. Try to tell by looking and by feeling which rock will be the heaviest and which one will be the lightest. Make a prediction chart in your journal.

4. Weigh the rocks on the scale.

5. Then draw a picture of a light rock and a heavy rock on your worksheet.

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Evaluation

Oral Assessment

1. Can the children think of other ways that rocks are different besides their size and color?

2. Show several rocks. Tell them today we will find out which rocks are the heaviest.

3. Have the children try to tell by first looking and then by feeling which rock will be the heaviest and which one will be the lightest.

4. Have the children take turns putting two rocks at a time in the balance scale to see which rock is the heaviest.

5. Show several examples of rocks. Ask the student to classify the rock and describe some of its attributes and features.

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Conclusion

In this WebQuest your class has classified rocks according to their attributes, identified layers of soil that certain types of rocks are located within, observed and gained a better understanding of the power of heat, and practiced classifying rocks in the categories sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.

Extras:

1. Do you want to have a whole class rock investigation? Check out this website for more details:

http://www.rockdetective.org/

2. Related Websites

http://abe.www.ecn.purdue.edu/~agen521/epadir/erosion/wind_erosion.html
http://abe.www.ecn.purdue.edu/~agen521/epadir/erosion/water_erosion.html
http://www.dc.peachnet.edu/~pgore/students/w97/landry/

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Credits & References

http://www.lessonplanz.com

http://www.barrysclipart.com

http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/earthspace14.html


Designed by: Rachel Birt

Bowling Green State University Graduate Assistant

Spring 2002

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