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Sorting Rocks

Sorting Rocks

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to observe, describe, compare, and sort rocks by size, shape, color, and texture.

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Essential Understanding

The student knows that the natural world includes Earth materials.

Science Background

What is Geology? What does a Geologist Do? Geology.com (website) - Learn the fundamentals of geology and the work of a geologist.

What is Geology? What does a Geologist Do?
Geology.com

Resources for Teachers and Students of Geoscience in Texas: Bureau of Economic Geology (website) - Numerous resources related to geology and Earth science, including links to publications, a virtual rock kit, Earthview Texas, and more.

Resources for Teachers and Students of Geoscience in Texas
Bureau of Economic Geology, www.beg.utexas.edu

Signature Lesson

Properties of Rocks: Baylor College of Medicine (PDF) - Students will observe, describe, compare and sort rocks by several properties.

Properties of Rocks
Baylor College of Medicine

Supporting Lessons

Rock, Rocks & More Rocks: Illinois State Museum Geology Online (website) - Introductory lesson in which students observe and sort rocks according to geologic properties.

Rock, Rocks & More Rocks
Illinois State Museum Geology Online, geologyonline.museum.state.il.us

Geology in the Classroom: Cochise College (website) - Hands-on investigation that will make children more aware of the rocks in their neighborhood and also get their parents involved in the learning process.

Geology in the Classroom
Cochise College, www.cochise.edu

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Collecting Rocks: Illinois State Museum Geology Online (website) - Students acquire knowledge of rocks, how they are formed, how they are used, and how to collect them.

Collecting Rocks
Illinois State Museum Geology Online, geologyonline.museum.state.il.us

Rock, Soil, or Water? Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service (PDF) - Review the properties of rocks, soil and water with this interactive physical education game.

Rock, Soil, or Water?
Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service, walkacrosstexas.tamu.edu

Assessment Ideas

Give each student a bag containing four rocks. Have students draw pictures of the rocks in their science notebooks and verbally describe the rocks’ physical properties, including size, shape, color, and texture.

Literature Connections

Let’s Go Rock Collecting. Gans, Roma (ISBN 0064451703)

Let’s Look at Rocks. Cipriano, Jeri (ISBN 0736828974)

Rocks: Hard, Sort, Smooth, and Rough. Rosinsky, Natalie (ISBN 1404800158)

Related Science TEKS

(K.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

(K.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.

(K.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data and make observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, and non-standard measurement tools.

(K.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data and observations using pictures, numbers, and words.

(K.2E) Communicate Observations
The student is expected to communicate observations with others about simple descriptive investigations.

(K.3B) Make Predictions
The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns in nature such as the shapes of leaves.

(K.3C) Explore Scientists
The student is expected to explore that scientists investigate different things in the natural world and use tools to help in their investigations.

(K.4A) Tools for Collecting Information
The student will collect information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and timers; non-standard measuring items such as paper clips and clothespins; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(K.4B) Five Senses
The student is expected to use senses as a tool of observation to identify properties and patterns of organisms, objects, and events in the environment.

Related Math TEKS

K.8A    The student is expected to describe and identify an object by its attributes using informal language (including shape, size, type, color, texture, or use).

K.8B    The student is expected to compare two objects based on their attributes.

Additional Resources

Properties of Rocks and Soil: University of Missouri, eThemes (website) - Learn about the properties of rocks and soil, how rocks are made, and how soil is formed.

Properties of Rocks and Soil
University of Missouri, eThemes, ethemes.missouri.edu

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