Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rockin' Science Exploration

This year I added a lesson on rocks to branch off of our fossil/dinosaur unit. I'm always looking to add more opportunities for hands-on science explorations.

I personally think rocks are awesome! (Especially when they are sparkly. And on my finger.) Fine, I like other rocks too!

A few years ago, when I taught Pre-K, a parent (with a masters in geology) donated a suitcase-full of cool rocks!

There was petrified wood, marble, pink quartz, granite, hematite, pumice, jasper... (am I impressing you with my rock knowledge yet?) Even a cool leaf fossil!

My mom also had quite the polished rock collection that she so generously lent me for this lesson.

During free choice, I called over a small group of kids at a time to tour our "Rock Museum".  I couldn't help but laugh at the crazy things they said while exploring: "This rock feels like chocolate - I just want to eat it!" (Don't worry, I kept a close eye on him!) Another student, while looking at the fool's gold, "I've dreamed of seeing this rock...in my dreams."

At the end of their "tour", I had them choose their favorite rock and write a description.

My favorite rock is "purple and smooth and also my favorite color".

The inspiration for this "rock report" idea came from Kindergarten... Kindergarten...'s Rock and Roll blog post. Head on over for more ideas that "rock". Hehe! (I can't help it!) Kathryn also has a PowerPoint download titled Rocks are Everywhere. I had this projected on the whiteboard when my students returned from recess and I overheard our future worship leader singing "Rocks are everywhere, rocks are everywhere...even in my shoes!" (That's some good material. I think Harry Kindergarten could work some magic with those lyrics. Don't ya think?)

This book briefly touched on some more advanced rock concepts like classifying rocks and how they are formed.

Earlier this year one little boy came up to me and said: "Do you know how God is like our rock? Because when we build our life on Him, when trouble comes, we will stay strong! I could not have put it a better way! From the mouths of babes!

My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. ~2 Samuel 22:3

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