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Exploring rocks and minerals with young learners
Exploring rocks and minerals with young learners (part two)
13 Mar, 2016. 0 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Exploring rocks and minerals with young learners

(As this post is fairly long, I have broken it up into multiple pages, as a quick reference, at the bottom of each page, I have included a list so that you can click amongst the pages easily!)

Our rock unit has been going strong for just over two weeks and my students are fascinated with all that we are learning. More so, they have been asking wonderful questions about rocks and are taking ownership of finding the answers to their questions. Of course their go to is asking Siri, but I love that they also are getting really great at getting our nonfiction books from the book corner, using the table of contents or index, and researching the answers to their questions. This unit has not only helped them think more like scientists but it has also hit many standards that we are required to teach.

In my my previous post, I wrote about how we started out unit. You can read about that here. In this post I would love to show you the continuation of our inquiry! What has been so great about this unit is that we have been able to integrate so much language and math into the theme. One way that I incorporated language was by reading the book. “You Be You.” If you haven’t read this book, it is a very sweet story.

You Be You- an awesome picture book for young learners

After reading the book and discussing it, I gave each of my students a smooth stone and invited them to create their own unique stone fish. With sharpies, they carefully added details to their rocks.

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

Many students enjoyed referring back to the book to get inspiration.

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

After they finished their designs, they added color using oil pastels.

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."
Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

The finished products all came out unique and beautiful, just like all of my students.

Students create fish stones after listening to the book, "You Be You."

Our math focus this week was graphing. We graphed MANY things this week but one of our favorites was graphing what color would be inside our geodes! From Amazon, I purchased a set of 12 rocks for my students to crack open. However, before we went outside to complete the science experiment, we read a few books about geodes and then graphed what colors we thought might be inside of them.

Kindergarten students graph what colors will be inside their geodes.

Kindergarten students graph what colors will be inside their geodes. Kindergarten students graph what colors will be inside their geodes.

After graphing our predictions, we went outside to crack them open! We put on our safety goggles and placed the geodes inside felt baggies that I had made.

a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes!

Then, we took our safety hammer (notice that the claw is covered with padding!) and cracked them open!

a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes! a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes!

After they were cracked, they dumped out their geode pieces and carefully examined them!

a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes!

There was much excitement in the air as my students enthusiastically shared what was inside their rock with their friends! We gathered up all the treasured pieces and ventured inside to examine the pieces more closely and to write about our experiment.

a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes!

My students looked closely at their pieces and looked for hints of colors. As much as they were hoping for amethysts, they were VERY excited about the white rock crystals that contained specs of pink and orange.

a perfect science experiment during your unit on rocks and minerals-- cracking open geodes!

Since my students were so into geodes, the next day, we tried our hand at growing our own!

Click on the picture to read more about our geode science experiment!

students create their own pipe cleaner geodes

http://adayinfirstgrade.com/2016/03/exploring-rocks-and-minerals-with-young-learners-part-two.html/2

Blog post quick reference of activities:

Creating stone fish

Graphing geodes

Growing your own geodes

Creating metamorphic rocks

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