Compare rock samples and have students record their observations.
Kids are easily distracted and they may lose interest in science topics that they consider boring. Adding a little fun into the mix can keep them interested and help them succeed in their studies of things such as geology. Get them involved by engaging their imaginations through interactive exercises, both inside of the classroom and at home.
To teach students about geologic timelines and their effects on fossils, have them play the roles of paleontologists excavating for bones and other remains. Children can work in pairs as they work together to dig up ancient “fossils” and then reassemble their findings to decide on factors such as time of death and former environments of the creature. Teachers can prepare an excavation site by building a large container in which bird skeletons and other assorted bones are buried inside a deep mixture of sand and mortar. Students will then take different jobs around the “site” and use specific tools to bring the bones to the surface, where they will reassemble the pieces they’ve found and make determinations on the items’ histories. They can log their results in journals. Recreating a real-life excavation site is key, so have them use codes and numbers to tag individual bones, and they can analyze their findings using textbooks and museum reference guides.
Edible Layers of Rock
Demonstrate the effects of movement and faulting on rock layers such as limestone, sandstone and shale by creating an edible rock strata out of different types of foods that best represent the thickness and placement of different levels of the Earth’s crust. Use flavored gelatin, whipped creme, fruit and graham crackers and line them up on top of one another in a glass pan to demonstrate how the layers interact with one another and show the results of exterior stimuli. Cut a slice and have the students interact with the concoction, looking for examples of what uplifting, faulting and erosion can do the rock layers beneath the Earth’s surface. When the lesson is complete, the class can enjoy your delicious dessert.
Geology Scavenger Hunt
To help students better understand how rocks and minerals are used in everyday life, have them observe and interact with typical materials that they find at home, at school and everywhere else they go on a routine basis. This will help teach them the differences in geological and natural resources. It will also help them identify the types of rocks and fossil fuels in their community, and urge them to consider the merits of conservation. Each student can bring in various examples of items with geological ingredients and, through these items, demonstrate their knowledge of these items’ origins.
Rock Identification Lab
Teachers place a selection of different types of rocks throughout the classroom at various stations. Students are given charts with a list of the rocks, and they will go to each station and record their observations and theories about each rock. In every instance, the children can make tactile determinations as well as scientific analyses of the rocks, making comparisons and pointing out differences. Students can also answer specific questions posed by the teacher. This lesson enables students to learn through their own hypotheses, and then further their learning through information gleaned from reference guides and the findings of their peers.