Friday, May 4, 2012

Rocks are made of minerals

We did our next science unit this week.  I’m hoping to start our US States Geography and US History soon but the last few weeks have been a little crazy (I say that a LOT don’t I?).

We are using REAL Science Odyssey as a spine for our science and adding lots of other resources.  We started this weeks lesson by watching a video on Discovery Streaming called Rocks: The solid earth materials.  The video went over the differences between rocks and minerals, the layers of the earth, how rocks are formed and the different kinds of rocks.   So, it was a good introduction to our entire rock unit, not just this weeks lesson.

After the movie, I read the RSO notebook page to the kids and we prepared to do the lab.  The lab calls for using three different kinds of cheese grated into pieces to show how different types of minerals combine to make rocks.  I don’t like to waste food so instead of using cheese, I used play-doh.  We have a fun little tool for our play-doh that breaks it up into little pieces.  I used three very different colors of play-doh.



The first thing to do on the lab sheet was to draw a picture of what the “minerals” looked like.  Georgie claimed he couldn’t find a good yellow crayon so was using green and Vicki just wanted to use pink for everything, so we basically skipped that part of the lab.

Vicki wanted to make minerals so started by making bundles of all one color.   She then moved on to mixing the colors all together.


She made one big rock that she put under pressure (flattened it out) and then more sediment came along and was deposited.

IMG_8149 IMG_8151

Georgie, on the other hand, started out by counting out an exact number of each kind of mineral.  He then put them together into all the different possible combinations first.  He asked for more colors because he had already used up the different possibilities.  I said no but suggested he try different numbers of each color (2 yellows, 1 blue, etc.).  After a while he buried a yellow mineral completely inside blue minerals and we discussed how sometimes you have to break open a rock to see what’s inside.  We took a close look at some geode bookends we have to show this better.

He also made some pebble sized rocks and some larger ones. 



We finished up by looking a different rocks & minerals in our DK Rocks & Minerals book.

The next unit we will begin learning about the steps to take to identify what kind of minerals we have.

1 comment:

  1. I actually think using the play dough might have worked better than cheese. I like that idea.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!