Students will recognize the different types of soil and understand that
through erosion from rocks is where we get soil. Students will have an understanding of
rocks by observation and
exploration and list at least five things that we use rocks and soil for.
(Second indicator has been explored before, and there are many great ideas on water in
Chapter Seven the
2008 Core Academy, and Chapter Eight from 2006.)
- A collection of rocks
- Sandstone and sandpaper
- Four different kinds of soil samples (silt, sand, clay and humus)
- Seeds to plant in the soil samples
- Magnifying glasses
- Rock and Soil Journal (blackline)
- If You Find A Rock, by Peggy Christian; ISBN 978‐0‐15‐206354‐2
- Let's Go Rock Collecting, by Roma Gans; ISBN 13: 978‐0‐06‐445170‐3
Dirt, by Steve Tomecek; ISBN 0‐7922‐8204‐3 (Jump into Science with National Geographic)
- The Life of the Oak Tree
- Rocks and Soil, by Natalie Lunis; ISBN 978‐1‐4007‐6440‐2
- Looking at Soil, by Judith Rosenbaum; ISBN 978‐1‐4007‐6079‐4
- Earth Science Collection. Rocks. The Solid Earth
- Earth Science Collection. Uses of Rocks and
- Earth Science Collection. Weathering and
When looking to purchase rocks for your collections, Google "rocks and minerals" instead
of just "rocks".
Background for Teachers
Children need to be taught to use all five senses to enjoy and explore the world around
them. By teaching a child to look, listen, smell, hear, and even sometimes taste, you teach
him/her wonders all around. Along with having an awareness for the world around them,
students can learn to record and graph, allowing them to compare different attributes of
the world they live in.
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
2. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
3. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Literacy: Go to the level library and look for nonfiction books on
rocks and soil.
Then use these in your guided reading. Read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and have the
their own story about what they would do if they found a magic pebble.
Math: Sort and classify rocks; always graph and compare them.
Invitation to Learn:
Start off by asking the question "Do you have a collection?" Then discuss what collections
are and how fun it is to collect things. Show and discuss your rock collection.
- Show the rock movie in Emedia: Earth Science Collection: Rocks‐The Solid Earth
- Read If You Find a Rock, then go to the park or a nearby walking field trip to collect
these type of rocks (the list of categories is on the second‐to‐last page of If You Find
- Show the Big Book Rocks.
- Read the book Let's Go Rock Collecting.
- Show different rocks and let the children look at them with a magnifying glass and
list specific characteristics.
- Crystal ‐show faces of the crystals
- Limestone‐show the shells
- Pumice‐from volcanoes, and certain holes made by trapped air
- Chalk -- can write with it
- Coal -- shiny and dark and gives heat
- Salt -- little squares and can taste
- Micah --has layers that can be peeled back
- Talc -- can be rubbed into powder (it is the softest rock)
There are web sites at which you can buy rock collections‐for example see
http://www.rocksandminerals.com/boxed/boxed.htm (accessed 1‐9‐10).
- Show the film from Emedia about the use of rocks: Earth Science Collection. Uses of
Rocks and Minerals.
Talk about mining and concrete, and make a list of things that we obtain from rocks.
- Make a class book about the students' favorite rock and why and what it is used for.
- Read the book Dirt. Take some sandstone and a piece of sandpaper, and rub to make
Discuss erosion and how water, wind and temperature are the main forces that
erode rocks into soil.
- Show the movie on erosion: Earth Science Collection. Weathering and Erosion.
- Read the Big Book Rocks and Soil. Talk about the fact that different rocks make
The black sands of some islands are from volcanic rock.
- Show samples of different soils and compare them. (When a child goes on a trip, ask
him/her to bring back a sample of the soil.)
- Read The Life of the Oak Tree. Talk about the roles of insects and worms. They have
a very important job of decomposing life and enriching the soil.
- On a chart, graph the kinds of soil and their characteristics. Read the Big Book
Looking at Soil.
- Take the four main soil types (silt, clay, sand, and humus) and plant a couple of
seeds in each. Record on a graph how the plants grow differently in different soils.
- Discuss Utah soil, and how not all plants grow well here, others do. It is important
to choose the right plants for the right soil. See
- Complete the Rock and Soil Journal (black line included); have the children fill this
journal throughout the unit and then turn the journal in as the assessment.
Lesson and Activity Time Schedule:
60‐minute discussion and 30‐minute lab.
Activity Connected to Lesson:
Use the Soil and Rock Journal.
- Page one: Graph to write rock and characteristic.
- Page two: Use a magnifying glass to look at pumice and limestone and draw the
shells and air pockets.
- Page three: Rub off some red sand stone and glue on to show how it was eroded.
- Page four: A soil graph with four squares; glue a bit of each soil on each square
showing the different sizes, colors and particles.
- Page five: A collection of rock books (checked out at the library) where they can
look up their favorite rock and write about its attributes.
- Page six: Show rock products and what rocks they come from.
- A collection of rocks to characterize and sort
- Pumice, limestone and magnifying glasses
- Sandstone, sandpaper
- Four types of soil; have another cup with a plant growing in each to see how each
reacts to the soil
- A collection of rock books (get these from the library) to show some of the books
they can get or buy
- Rock products: talc, coal, sheetrock, jewelry, granite countertops, salt, etc.
- Their book, run off and stapled.
- Sort the rocks for centers.
- Examine pet rocks as both an art experience and as a writing experience.
- Make Crystals:
- Visit http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/land/soil/grownups.weml (accessed 1‐
9‐10) for fun facts and soil experiments.
- Visit http://urbanext.illinois.edu/gpe/case2/index.html (accessed 1‐9‐10) for fun soil facts and soil experiments.
- Ask parents if they go on a trip to bring you some samples of the soil.
- Ask parents to share any rock collections they might have.
- Read Let's Go Rock Collecting. Give each child an egg carton and have them find and
label rocks in their backyard.
The Rock and Soil Journal (Black line included) would be filled out as the unit is in
progress. Once completed, turn in as a final assessment. While students are completing
journal, observe and watch to see their understanding of the concepts. Also, observe
students' understanding while comparing and graphing the rocks.