Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Read the book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Discuss what was special about Sylvester's pebble. How did it change his life? How did it change the life of his family? Could the story be real? Discuss the various attributes of Sylvester's pebble (other than the fact that it was magic.)
Ask students to share things they know about rocks. What do they look like? What are their characteristics? Where do they come from? Etc. Ask students to bring at least ten different rocks to class. Students are usually very eager to bring collections to school however you will need to have a collection of different types of rocks on hand for those students who forget to bring their rocks on the appointed day. Have the students get with a partner. Give an egg carton and magnifying glass to each pair. Have the students pool their rocks so each pair of students has about 20 rocks. Give them rocks if necessary.
Working with their partner, have the students observe, discuss and write about the different characteristics of their rocks. Instruct students to make a list of the different characteristics of their collected rocks. Using the egg cartons, have the pairs organize and classify their rocks into self selected categories (ie. large--small [size], dark--light [color], dull--shinny [luster], single--multi-colored, rough--smooth [texture]).
Have each pair discuss their findings with a neighboring pair. Have students make an illustration of one of their rocks that shows two different characteristics. Have them also write a description of one of their rocks. Encourage students to share their illustrations and written description with their partner. Instruct students to write questions about rocks. What are some other things they would like to know about rocks? What would they like to learn about the rocks they collected?
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