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Gravel can be an effective, inexpensive, and abundant resource that helps students think critically during several interdisciplinary science activities and investigations.
If you, as a teacher-any grade level, are looking for an article to get your students into the "inquiry" mood, this has to be one of them. It is not the article itself that is so valuable, it is the suggestions that it brings up. There are no "cookbook lessons" or even modeled examples in it. However, it full of suggestions that can be taken by any teacher, at any level, and used with a group of students. How much time do you need or want to spend are left to your imagination. Use the suggestions in this article to teach just a short simple observation of common gravel, or go way beyond. Make it an entire Unit complete with history, description, creation, travel, uses, and more of the "gravel" (remember, gravel is a size designation) you have found, purchased, had brought in, etc...This article is rich with ideas, has great pictures , and even suggests some plans for Professional Development using gravel as the medium being investigated. There is a SciLink provided to add to this article, and the free, fossil-identifying workbook found in the "On the Web" resources is great! If you like or need some suggestions for earth sciences inquiry lessons-read this article. Better yet, print out a copy of this article and highlight the ideas that you want to try.