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I Spy

Main Core Tie

Science - 2nd Grade
Standard 2 Objective 1


Utah LessonPlans


Students will play the game I Spy to help identify objects made from rock.




  • Magazine pictures of living and nonliving objects
  • Hand lens for each student
  • Pencil
  • Crayons
  • Clipboard
  • Map of the school playground (can be hand-drawn or aerial satellite photos can be acquired for a small fee at and
  • Rock Journal (pdf)

Background for Teachers

All material on Earth can be sorted into three categories--animal, plant, or mineral. Some materials are easily identified, such as dogs, carrots, or rocks. Other materials may be less obvious, such as rubber, glass, and aluminum. These categories can be more specifically defined as living, once living, and nonliving. The availability, and properties of these resources will determine how humans use these materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes

5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn
Play a game of I Spy. Start by saying, "I spy something that was made from a rock." Let students ask yes/no questions to discover the answer.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Pass out magazine pictures to table groups. Have students sort the pictures according to living and nonliving objects. Allow each table to explain why they sorted their objects the way they did.
  2. Go on an I Spy search on the playground. Students are searching for objects made from rock material--items that are nonliving. When an object is found, students should do the following in their Rock Journals:
    1. Make a rubbing of the item.
    2. Describe the item.
    3. Mark the item on their playground map.
  3. When the I Spy search is over, take students back into the classroom and compare some of their findings. Be sure to call on any student who found items that may not have been easily identified as rock material (e.g., a metal link from a swing).


  • Have students make maps of the classroom or of the school and complete the same activity. Be sure to have them describe the object and label it on their maps.
  • Have students make an I Spy book by cutting out magazine pictures of living or nonliving items and gluing them into a collage. Using the writing process, students can write the text and put it into a class book.
  • If you have access to several technology sources, students could get into groups and create mini collections of objects made from rock material (e.g., keys, paper clips, rocks, coins, thumb tacks, staples, chalk, etc.). Take a digital picture, which could also be used to create a class book in the computer lab. (A regular camera could also be used.)

Family Connections

  • Students could create an I Spy box, bottle, or photograph at home and bring it to class to share.
  • Students could make a map of their bedroom and use a symbol to identify items made from rock material.
  • With their families, students could go on an I Spy hunt around their house. Ask students to bring in or share unusual items found at their homes that were made from rock materials.

Assessment Plan

Use the first Rock Journal as a pre-assessment tool. At the end of the unit, go on another hunt and have the students compare their journals. Were the items they found just simple rocks, or were they were more complicated, less obvious items? Students who can identify material made of metal or glass probably have a solid understanding of this concept.

Created: 09/28/2004
Updated: 02/05/2018