Hello!  I am a student teacher and am making a lesson plan for the Rock Cycle.  I have a couple a resources for the lesson plan itself but, I am having trouble with the length of the lesson plan. I tend to make the lesson plan longer so the students have more time to explore and have opportunity for group discussion. This a 6th grade class and is only 45 min. How can I still have the hand-on activity within this period of time? Any suggestions?

Stefanie Thews
Stefanie Thews
445 Activity Points

It would be helpful to know what the students already know about rock formation and earth science in general. If they have a basic understanding of rock formation then a hands-on activity identifying rock samples in a general way would reinforce their beginning understanding of the characteristics of sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous rocks. The processes that form rock are more easily understood when looking at actual rocks.

Peggy Ashbrook
Margaret Ashbrook
7040 Activity Points

Hello Stefanie! I feel that having a good understanding of what the students already know about rocks can be very helpful for you to estimate a time for your lesson plan. In a rock lesson we had, we had students looking at rocks and make a Ven diagram where they were asked to observe the rock and write its physical properties from each rock and then similarities. Students seemed to enjoy the activity because they felt like they were in a investigation since they were using magnifying glasses.

Ambar Fernandez
Ambar Fernandez
210 Activity Points

Hello Stefanie! My name is Karina, and I too am a student teacher! You must feel very excited to be constructing a lesson plan over the Rock Cycle! For one I can say that time management is a big thing to keep in mind when developing a lesson. I do not know if you have ever heard of the 5E Lesson Plan. But, if you have yet to hear about it, it is basically an instructional tool that teachers who are teaching a science lesson can use to guarantee that students will grasp the new information presented to them successfully. Additionally, it helps teachers' to make sure they have sufficient time for an engagement phase, an exploration phase, an explanation phase, an elaborate phase, and finally a evaluative phase. In your case I believe it will be helpful for you to use as a guide and as an assurance that you have sufficient time for your hand-on activity. Also, what I would do is practice presenting my lesson and timing it to assure that I have sufficient time. I hope this helps! Best of luck!

Karina Herrera
Karina Herrera
395 Activity Points

Hello Stefanie- Here is an activity that you may be able to incorporate into your lesson on the Rock Cycle. I saw it modeled once at a teacher workshop and plan on using it this summer with the campers I work with at Camp Watonka. http://www.exo.net/~emuller/activities/Crayon-Rock-Cycle.pdf

Cris DeWolf
Cris DeWolf
11395 Activity Points

Hi Stefanie

I did this in class as demo. Its a really good visual about rocks. NSTA has a great book called "Project Earth Science: Geology, Revised 2nd Edition" This activity appears in the book and there is another activity called Rocks Tell A Story. You need to have rock samples but you could easily use pictures on the internet. It also might be a great resource for you to have in the future.

Have A Great Day

Diane Ripollone
Diane Ripollone
2130 Activity Points

45 minutes is kind of tight for a lesson as well as a hands-on activity. I typically have a whole group discussion first and pass around rock samples and then the next day I do an activity with it. The crayon rock cycle listed above is one that my kids really enjoy. One suggestion for the "shaving" tool is that I've found a hand pencil sharpener works the best.

Shalen Boyer
Shalen Boyer
4795 Activity Points

This is a great idea! I also like the idea of students creating a model of the rock cycle using materials in the class. They could tell the characteristics of each major group of rocks, how each type of rock forms, and how these groups fit into the rock cycle.

Vivian Del Cid
Vivian Del Cid
3265 Activity Points

Hi Stefanie, High-five for student teaching! I am a student teacher as well. I had the same issue when planning my lesson on the ladybug cycle. I was stressing over the time because my class only dedicates 45mins to Science as well. My professor told us it was okay to split the lesson between days. You could teach the engage and explore one day and the explain, elaborate and evaluate another day. I don't think it would be ideal to rush it. Goodluck on your lesson!

Nayeli Salas
Nayeli Salas
860 Activity Points

Hi,

I teach 6th and 8th grade science.  What I find with the 6th graders is that their vocabulary knowledge is lacking.  I like to start a unit or even a lesson with students up and engaged by using a good old card sort....vocabulary words on one set of cards and definitions or pictures on the other set for them to work in groups and match.  You can walk around the classroom and check or engage with each group.  You can time this activity or let them work until all groups have the correct matches.  As you go through the lesson the students will be cataloging their knowledge based on the pictures/definitions presented at the beginning of the class.  I like to finish the class period or begin the next period with the exact same card sort.  This reinforces what they have learned.  Kids are competitive at this age and enjoy this activity. I go over the correct matches out loud at the end and allow the students to "check" their answers.  This allows me to make sure all students have the correct information.  They love standing up and being engaged.  I use these activities often and before midterms or finals we use them as content review.  

Amy

Amy Stewart
Amy Stewart
435 Activity Points

This is late to this board, but I thought I'd throw this idea out there anyway because I've found it so successful-

Play-Doh! It is an incredible way to help students tell a story, explain a concept, and learn or demonstrate knowledge. (1) Give each student a small container of play-doh, (2) present a slide, picture, or hand sample that indicates a part of the cycle and ask students to share what they know (think,pair,share) and then create a representation with their play doh (3) move through each phase of the cycle with a similar process until all parts have been explained and modeled. (4) Pass out a die to each group. Have the groups roll the die and have a key on the board corresponding each roll of the die to a phase in the rock cycle. (5) Each team rolls the die and creates that phase- as time allows groups can share out. Walk around the room and listen in for misconceptions or great modeling- fix or praise! An extension would be to have students in the room create their phase of the rock cycle  and then find someone else in the room who has a phase near theirs in the rock cycle. This is a great activity for any age Pre-100+. Just be sure not to overuse play-doh as a learning tool or it loses its power to be novel and exciting.

Happy sciencing!

Debbie

Debbie Morgan
Debbie Morgan
780 Activity Points

Here's a great resource (at least I think so, since I authored THE ROCK HOUND story!).  Seriously, you will find super teacher and student resources FREE! Go to http://earthscienceissues.net/ (Issues in Earth and Space Science).  They publish earth science-related stories twice a year suitable for middle or high school with teacher resources to accompany them.  Russ Colson, the publisher, is a professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and has authored "Learning to Read the Earth and Sky: Explorations Supporting the NGSS, Grades 6–12" (available in the NSTA bookstore). 

My story has  5-E learning model activities, and is aligned to the NGSS.  (http://earthscienceissues.net/Fiction/The_Rock_Hound-Young.pdf ) Enjoy and please give me some feedback (sciencewriter716@gmail.com ).  Also check out my blog--you will find lots of activities there for grades K--8 and reviews of science related kids literature.

Paula Young
Paula Young
300 Activity Points

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