Rock Findingby: Susan D. Constable and Katie Rommel-Esham

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Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor (1974) is an inspiring book in which the author invites readers to go “rock finding” by laying out ten rules for finding a “perfect” rock. In this way, the book encourages children to look closely, using all of their senses, whims, and personal preferences as they search for their rock. Teachers can take this idea further, using the book as a basis for an activity in which students describe the physical characteristics of various rocks and in the process hone their observation and communication skills and learn the value of making detailed assessments.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:57 PM

I really like the connections between literature and observation in this article. So often, we seem to be forcing the idea of journaling and observation on our students, but this activity actually is fun, as well as encouraging students to be detailed observers. We did a similar activity this summer, but with rocks that are "native" to our area. The kids were excited that they had seen similar rocks in their own neighborhoods, and liked the idea of adopting a rock. We did the activity as sort of a filler for the end of day activities when we had other activities going on, and it was a challenge to find their own "pet" rock. They are capable of identifying the tiniest detail on the most non-descript rock, if it is their rock.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

  • on Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:27 PM

Which kids have not picked up a rock while walking? Rocks are all around us in many ways. Teachers can take this idea a little further by having students create a journal for rocks. Have the students make a journal and keep track about the type of rocks they have collected. Have the students describe the many attributes of a rock such as: the color, shape, and texture. This will also help the students with their writing skills. Also have the students make specific directions where the rock was found such as: in the backyard, a playground, in the park, and etc. Also let the students know that rocks are everywhere. Rocks are used to build roadways, building, houses, and etc.


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