Rocks: Categories by Process

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Rocks SciPack. It provides an introduction to what rocks are, how and where they form, and what we can tell about a rock’s formation by making observations about its characteristics. Different rocks have different compositions (element and mineral assemblages) and textures (grain size, orientation, etc.) Important observations of rock include characteristics of both a sample of the rock and its larger geologic context and natural setting. Observations of rocks can tell us about the processes and the environment in which they formed. The major categories of Earth’s rocks include igneous rock, sedimentary rock, and metamorphic rock.

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Reviews (13)
  • on Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:13 PM

Found the resource very useful in helping me build on my prior knowledge. I liked that short assessments were given throughout the reading to check for understanding before moving on. Recommend for those that need a refresher or want to build more knowledge.

Sarah  (Ponca City, OK)
Sarah (Ponca City, OK)

  • on Tue May 05, 2015 11:50 PM

This article discusses what rocks are about how they are apart of out environment. It really is quite obvious because rocks make up a large part of our Earth. The author goes on to say, "Rocks are made of groups of minerals bound together. Minerals are in turn made up of chemical elements such as silicon and iron that are arranged in orderly patterns." The article then goes on to talk about the rock cycle, and the materials and beautiful architecture that these "rocks" have made in the past, and today. There are certain characteristics that make up a rock, which is continued in the later articles.

Laura  (Holt, MI)
Laura (Holt, MI)

  • on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:12 AM

For those of us who are novices in this area of geology. This is a great introductory resource into rock investigation!

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:02 PM

After taking this mini course, I realized that my knowledge of rock was more limited than I had realized. By reminding students that mountains and cliff faces are also "rocks". The pieces of rocks that can be found are considered samples of the larger form. Knowing the age of different types of rocks is important when determining whether a bone could have come from a dinosaur.

Bonnie Lind
Bonnie Lind

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:45 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Rocks: Categories by Process Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:24 PM

I just completed the session on the proceses involved in identifying rocks. The information was very comprehensive and easy to follow. The frequent checking your understanding was really helpful in keeping focused on the material. Good review for anyone.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:41 PM

This Science Object does an excellent job defining the term 'rock', and then highlighting the differences among sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock. The explanation presented of how a rock can reveal a story about the environment in which it formed and the events that changed it over time is very clear and concise. The photos are brilliant and truly will help viewers (educators and students) to understand the many different textures of rocks (glassy, fine-grained, course-grained, angular, etc.). Additionally, this resource addresses common misconceptions that students may have; e.g., such as rocks are only things you can hold in your hand. Great resource!

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:38 PM

This Science Object does an excellent job defining the term 'rock', and then highlighting the differences among sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock. The explanation presented of how a rock can reveal a story about the environment in which it formed and the events that changed it over time is very clear and concise. The photos are brilliant and truly will help viewers (educators and students) to understand the many different textures of rocks (glassy, fine-grained, course-grained, angular, etc.). Additionally, this resource addresses common misconceptions that students may have; e.g., such as rocks are only things you can hold in your hand. Great resource!

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:42 PM

basic information good pictures a good first look at rocks and minerals

Jean
Jean

  • on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:33 PM

The Rocks: Categories by Process Science Object is a good and basic introduction to what a rock is and how to classify rocks based on their characteristic. The Science Object frames the exploration by posing the question of whether or not a bone found by a boy in Montana could be a dinosaur bone. We learn about how to ask the questions of where, when, and what in order to learn more about a rock. The lesson also describes how to classify a rock according to its color, texture, and context, although you will only learn how to identify a few rocks. I had hoped to gain skills in identifying the many different types of rocks I see while hiking, but since this is just an introduction I did not gain these skills. The Science Object also includes an introduction to the rock cycle and the difference between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. If you have no prior experience in the field of geology, this Science Object will help you form a solid framework on which to base further studies. If you have some experience with the concepts of the rock cycle, then you might want to skip this Science Object and move on to others in the Rocks SciPack. In retrospect, I should have looked at the introduction page and realized that I already knew the learning objectives and not continued with the lesson. This was my first Science Object, though, and was excited to see how it worked, so I persevered even though it really was just a review for me since I took some geology courses in college. It is always good to review knowledge learned in the past, and this certainly was not a waste of time, but I would more readily recommend this Science Object for people without a background in geology.

Kirsten Tuhus
Kirsten Tuhus

  • on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:08 PM

Good solid background information. Easy to follow and learning is easy.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:00 PM

Good overall presentation for building core knowledge for someone who has not had an earth science (geology class). Effective strategy to have reviews with assessments.

Virginia
Virginia

  • on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:29 AM

This overview of rocks was fair. Pros: the format had options to keep things interactive, like choosing additional images to view, and the text read out loud. The quiz questions were a good option, although the questions were at times unclear. Cons: I'd like to see an option to listen to the entire lesson, or to engage with high level questioning. Each part of the lesson was only 2-3 minutes long, and it felt disjointed as a result of the constant clicking "next". Also, this is the same level of thinking or content knowledge I require of my students. I was hoping for something more in depth or challenging with regard to advanced concepts. This would give me enrichment opportunities in class to extend the quick learners. The content was the same information you

PHILIP
PHILIP


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