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EARTH SCIENCE UNIT   

MITEP: JULY 2011

C. BOLDUC


Earth Science Unit: 3rd Grade: Lesson 1: Inquiry Stimuli: The learner will (TLW), investigate properties of rocks. Are all rocks the same? If not how are they different? Can we put them into groups? How could we group rocks? Big Idea 4: Earth is continuously changing. Misconceptions: • One misconception is that all rocks are the same. • Another misconception I have observed is the thought that rocks stay the same, they never change. Earth Science Standards: Content Statement – E.SE.E.1: Earth materials – Earth materials that occur in nature include rocks, minerals, soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere. Earth materials have properties, which sustain plant and animal life. Content Expectations: E.SE.03.13: Recognize and describe different types of Earth materials (mineral, rock, clay, boulder, gravel, sand, soil). E.SE.03.14 Recognize that rocks are made up of minerals.

Knowledge Needed/Background Information: • Rocks are grouped into three different types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. • Rocks are made up of minerals. • Rocks are broken down over time by wind, rain and ice. This process is called weathering. Erosion occurs when wind or water carry the broken bits or sediment away. • Rocks can be classified by their color, hardness, streak and luster.


Vocabulary: • Rock: a solid mixture of minerals • Mineral: a non-living natural material/ minerals make a rock look and feel the way it does • Rock Cycle: changing of rock from one type to another • Sediment: small pieces of sand, mud, pebbles • Weathering: wearing away of rock over time by water, wind, heat and ice • Erosion: when sediment is carried away by wind or water • Streak: when a mineral is rubbed over a surface it leaves behind a colored powder/ a mineral’s streak is always the same color • Luster: how light if reflected from a mineral’s surface (shiny/dull) Materials: • Rocks and Mineral Books by Judith Stamper (class set) • Pencils • Rock Observation sheet (see last page) • Large Sheet of Paper • Several different types of rock set up in five different areas of the room Lesson: 1. We will start by asking the students what they know about rocks and completing a KWL chart as a group. (A KWL chart is split into 3 sections: What do we know? What do we want to know? What have we learned?) I start writing down what the student tell me even if it’s a misconception. Then we talk about what we want to know more about and fill in that section. At the end of the lesson we compare the “know” column with the “learned” column to see if we were correct. If something was not correct or a misconception we point that out and cross it off. 2. Student will be split into groups of 5 or less. I will ask each group to go to a different area and start completing the Rock Observation Chart. They are free to discuss questions and discoveries with their group.


3. Once their chart is completed, students will return to their seats. If other groups are still working and their charts are complete, each student may find one or two partners and start partner reading, Rocks and Minerals by Judith Stamper. After the reader finished a paragraph he or she needs to say “One thing I read…” and state a fact. Then their partner(s) needs to say “One thing I heard…” and state another fact from that same paragraph to help with comprehension. 4. Once all the groups are finished we will pull together as a whole group and discuss our discoveries. I’m hoping the students will come up with some of the vocabulary to describe the rocks on their own. 5. We will then compare are discoveries to our previous knowledge on our KWL chart and see if the information is the same or different. 6. Later in another lesson we will match the students’ observations with actual terms such as hardness, luster, streak etc. Assessment: • Teacher observation during group activity • Collect Rock Observation Sheet References: • Stamper, Judith Bauer. (2010). Rocks and Minerals. New York: Scholastic. • Kent ISD. (2008). KC4 Science Standards.


Name: _____________________

Rock Observation Sheet Rock

1

2

3

4

5

What do you see with your eyes?

How does the rock feel?

What do you see with the hand lens?

Draw a picture Same/different? and label.

Your choice: Add anything else you notice.


MiTEP Unit