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Science - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 1
Students will identify basic properties of minerals and rocks.
Rocks are combinations of minerals found naturally on or in the Earth. Rocks record the history of the Earth in their structures. Rocks can be identified by properties such as color, crystal size or texture, banding patterns, presence of pores, and other characteristics (see student rock identification background sheet).
1. Use a Science Process and Thinking Skills
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
Pre-Assessment/Invitation to Learn
Show students a rock such as a piece of granite. Ask them to describe the rock. Ask them what happened to make the rock look the way it does. Explain to students that the rock has a "story" and it can be told if you know about rocks. For example, if you chose to show them a piece of granite (igneous rock), the story might go like this: "I started life as a hot, hot liquid. Slowly I rose toward Earth's surface and started to cool. As I cooled, minerals I was made of started to "find" each other and form crystals. I started to look speckled and very pretty. I cooled completely off and rose a little higher in Earth's crust. Soon, rain, water and even a glacier scraped off the rock on top of me. I was exposed to the light for the first time!"
Homework & Family Connections
Start a rock collection at home. Use an egg carton to sort and store them. Use separate egg cartons for the three types of rocks.
Have each student pick one of the ten rocks and write its "story" (see Invitation to Learn). Stories could be bound into a class rock book and used for review.