view a plan
This portion is on Rock Streaking
By – Scott Dan
Subject – Science
Grade Level – 1st – 2nd
Body of Plan:
Overview Statement: Children will discover that certain rocks have the ability to “write.” Students will investigate which rocks do this, why certain rocks have this ability and others don’t, and create experiments to solve their questions.
1. When it is time to use the hammers, demonstrate proper procedure so they do not hurt themselves or others.
1. Rocks, some which produce streaks and others that do not produce streaks.
2. Sheets of tag board
3. Flat pieces of wood
1. Expected Outcomes:
To support inquiry, a four-color coding system has been implemented that follows the Circle of Inquiry model. Within the lesson, those parts that are highlighted in yellow will show evidence of wondering. Those parts highlighted in green will show evidence of collecting data. Pink indicates studying data and orange indicates making connections. If more than one color is applied to any particular part, this indicates that more than one aspect of the Circle of Inquiry has been implemented.
Concept: Certain types of rocks will produce streaks. These streaks can vary in color depending on the rocks composition.
Processes: Exploring, sustaining curiosity, challenging ideas, demonstrating, communicating, analyzing, comparing, predicting, recording, observing, naming, detecting components, graphing, and seeking information.
NSES Content Standards:
A. K-4 Earth and Space Science Standards:
a. Properties of Earth materials concepts:
1. Rocks are not all the same. They are composed of
different materials which may react differently with the
environment that surrounds it.
2. Students will first ponder, and then investigate what rock streaking could be used for.
2. K-4 Physical Science Standards:
a. Properties of object and materials concepts:
1. Students will observe properties such as size, color,
shape, texture and smell and their interactions with
2. Objects can be made of one or more materials.
1. Language Arts: The students will use writing, drawing, and other communication skills to express a learned knowledge.
a. Students will use the rocks to communicate through the use of pictures.
2. Art: Students will express a learned knowledge by using various mediums in art.
a. Students will use the rocks that create streaks to create a
picture. The children will see what properties the streak may have. Will it erase? Will it smear?
1. Mathematics as Problem Solving:
a. The students will create a floor graph and interpret the results.
b. The students will gain confidence in graphing through the practice of this exercise.
2. Mathematics as Communication:
a. After the students create a floor graph of what rocks produce streaks, and what rocks do not, they will interpret the graph and present their answers to the class.
1. Naturalist: The students will explore their environment. The students will investigate why certain rocks produce streaks.
2. Verbal-Linguistic: Students will be encouraged to voice their opinions of the occurrence of rock streaking along with any other information that they would like to share with the class.
3. Visual-Spatial: The students will create a pictorial representation of which rocks streak and which ones do not. They will also have the opportunity to make pictures with the rocks that produce streaks.
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic: The students will be allowed to get up and move around during various parts of the lesson. For example, the making of one large class floor graph will require that the students move around.
5. Logical-Mathematical: The students will be producing a graph for which rocks streak and which ones do not.
6. Interpersonal: Students will be encouraged to interact with others during the lesson.
A. Prerequisite Knowledge: After studying rocks for a few days, the children will have a working knowledge of what rocks are and how they are composed of different materials.
B. Introduction/Motivation: The students will be asked to compare two rocks and to find all the various ways in which they are different. The teacher will provide them with a piece of heavy tag board, saying to them that they may need this in their discoveries.
C. Activity: Students are to investigate two rocks. One rock will be a rock that is capable of producing streaks and the other one is not. After 5-10 minutes of exploration time, the teacher will ask the students to share the ways in which their rocks were different. If a student says that they found a rock that can make marks, then the teacher will follow that up with some more questions. If no one says anything about one of their rocks being able to make marks, then the teacher will ask the students if any of them tested their rocks on the paper. Allow the students to do this. Ask if they have any questions.
D. Anticipated Questions: Students may want to know what this is called, why it happens, and why it does not happen with every rock.
A. Exploration Phase: Let the children go back to their groups for more exploration time. Ask the students to investigate which of these rocks are making marks and which ones are not. Provide each group of two students with a pile of rocks and several pieces of heavy paper for streaking. Ask the students to place each of their rocks on the large floor graph in the middle of the room. They are to do this after they test a rock. If the rock makes a mark they are to make a test mark on the yes side of the graph, then they are to place that rock on top of the mark. If it does not make a mark, then place it in the no side of the graph. Allow for 15 minutes of discover.
B. Teacher’s Role: During the time that the students are comparing the rocks, the teacher is to walk around to the various groups to ask them some more questions, as well as to see if each of the students is understanding what they are suppose to be doing. The teacher may ask them which of the rocks have produced the best mark so far and why they believe that is so.
C. Expected Comments or Actions by Students: Students may comment on the rocks size, hardness, or even color to explain why some of the rocks are making marks on the paper.
D. Expected Learning: During this part of the lesson, the students are expected to learn that not all rocks will produce a streak.
A. Sharing: After the students have created the graph, then they are to meet for a whole group discussion.
B. Open-Ended Questions / Non Open-Ended Questions:
a. How many rock made marks?
b. How many rocks did not make marks?
c. How many more rocks made marks than those rocks that did not? (You may have to switch that around if the reverse is true.)
d. Was there one mark that stands out from the rest?
e. Why does one rock produce a darker mark than another?
f. Why does one rock produce a different colored mark than another?
g. Does anyone have any ideas on what we can call this strange occurrence? List the children’s ideas on the board. It is not important to tell them the true name at this point and time (streak). Instead, find books that are at the children’s level that will use this word along with pictures to illustrate its meaning.
C. New Scientific Language to be Introduced:
1. Each of the following words will be written on a large piece of chart paper. The teacher will ask the students to describe what these words mean. Next to each word, the teacher will write down the student’s comments (or guesses). In between each word, the teacher is to leave a lot of space for additional comments. Since the teacher is not going to tell the students whether they are right or wrong, he will handle it like this. Have these words available for the children to see at all times. Ask the children to keep these words on the top of their minds, for they must be active listeners and observers to help find out if they have the right definitions for them. During the rest of their study of rocks, the teacher will read books that have the word in context, or give the definition to them. The teacher will also use the words in context (without giving an exact definition). As the children hear something that might give a better definition to one of their words, then they must call it to the class’s attention. The teacher and students will stop what they are doing, and review what was just said. If the class agrees that what was said helps us understand the word better, then they will either add that part or change it completely to the vocabulary list they started earlier.
a. Streak: A mark produced by some rocks when rubbed against a harder surface.
b. Minerals: parts that make up rocks
c. Pigments: People grind up rocks to get colored powers called pigments.
d. Chalk A rock that we write with
e. Talc: A rock that we use on baby bottoms
A. Applying the Knowledge:
a. Using the student’s responses to the questions above, the teacher will allow the students to perform experiments to test their ideas. For example, many students may believe that color is an indicator if a rock will produce a streak. Ask the student how they would find out if this is true, and let them follow through.
b. Allow the students more time for exploration of what rocks produce streaks and which ones do not. Ask them to choose one of their rocks and to “take it apart” to see if they find anything that would explain why it is making marks. Provide students with a flat piece of wood and a hammer to break it apart.
c. Ask the students to find rocks at home that will produce marks. Can anyone find one that produces a different mark than the ones that we have investigated in the classroom?
B. Questions to Investigate:
a. Make a class list of questions that the children have. Most likely, the question of why rocks produce marks will not be fully answered during the first class period. Though more discussions and investigations about rock composition (appropriate for the 1st grade level), and connections to literature will the children begin to understand why rocks produce marks.
C. Follow-up learning
a. Ask the children to draw a picture with the rocks that they have found from home. Provide them with a piece of tag board to make their pictures on. If a child is unable to find rocks at home, then provide the child with some rocks from the classroom collection.
b. Create pictures using the rocks along with other art media to create a unique look.
c. Create a picture demonstrating what the children have learned about in today’s lesson.
d. Have the students make an entry in their daily log about what they have learned in today’s lesson.
A. Lesson Conclusion Phase: The students will be asked to turn in anything that they have created as evidence of their understanding of the lesson.
B. Assessment: Students will be assessed by what they have turned in to show evidence of their learning. They will be given the option of either turning in their log entry, a picture with a sentence or two describing what is shown, or a picture using rock markings (along with a sentence describing what is being shown). Students are given these various choices to support their learning style.
A. Adjust Plan for 1 Special Needs Student:
Scenario: Student does not have use of his arms, therefore is unable to write or draw. The student does have the ability to verbally communicate.
Plan: During the cooperative group learning, have the student work with another student. Their partner will work with them, either rubbing the rocks for them, or placing the rocks in their hand and moving their arm for them. This will allow the student to get a sense of the rocks texture. During the assessment phase of the lesson, the teacher will speak with the student to find out what he/she has learned.
ii. Internet URLs
The following URLs were not used in the construction of the
lesson plan, however, they may serve as a tool for students to
continue their observations of various rocks.
The following software products were not used in the construction
of the lesson plan, however, they may serve as a tool for students
to continue their observations of various rocks.
1. Science Court Exploration: Fossils. Tom Snyder Productions. 1998.
2. Earth Quest – DK Multimedia 1997
3. A Field Trip to the Earth – Sunburst 1999
C. Alternate Activities:
a. Find out what kinds of surfaces the rocks will produce a mark onto.
b. Grind up rocks into a fine powder, and see if they can create a pigment like artists do.
c. Find various ways to illustrate what the children have learned: dioramas, paintings, oral reports or presentations
d. Make a rock out of clay along with the surface it is making a mark onto. Use tempera to indicate what the rock is doing (making a mark).
D. Multicultural, Diversity, & Equity Issues:
During a couple parts of this lesson, students may be called upon to search for rocks around their home. Thoughtful consideration should be taken by the teacher for those students who may not live in a place where a lot of rocks would be found, or if their home life does not leave time or support school work. This is why the teacher will always have rocks available in the classroom for the students to use for their assignments. No student will be punished for something that is obviously out of his or her control. The teacher will, as always, make certain that he is supporting both racial and gender equity in the room. Diversity of thought and student is always welcome in the classroom, as it can only add to the learning experience.
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