Sunday, April 22, 2012

All About the Earth

Sorry I have been MIA lately guys! Grad school and life have gotten in the way! I promise to try and be better for the remainder of the school year. There are only 24 school days left if you can believe it!! :)

For the last few weeks we have been studying all about water, rocks, landforms and natural resources. Our week on water was mainly a review since we had already learned about the water cycle during our weather unit and about the different states of matter. We did a fun science experiment where we used water, blue food coloring and shaving cream to show what happens with precipitation and evaporation. We talked about what water is, why we use it and how we use it.

After water, we moved onto rocks. My kids are fascinated with rocks and it is impossible to get them to stop digging around in the dirt during recess. This week was a great chance to let them go ROCK crazy. We first started by going outside and collecting some rocks to look at. Each kid chose 12 rocks to bring back to the classroom. Then they got to decide how to sort their rocks. The recorded their groups in their science journal.

Next, just like we did with water, we talked about what a rock is, why we use them and how we use them. We read several books to give us ideas on how we use rocks. We learned that we use rocks for many things including roads, buildings, concrete, jewelry and even baby powder! 

The next day, I borrowed a collection of beautiful rocks from a kindergarten teacher and showed them to my students. I asked them to pick a rock to draw and write three clues about. After everyone was finished, we sat in community circle and went around and shared our clues. The class then got to guess what rock was being described.

Finally, to wrap our rock unit up, my lovely teammate Sam made "rock cookies" for our whole grade level. They are basically cookies with five or six extra ingredients in them (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, m&ms, etc.) We use these as a way to illustrate the difference between a rock and a mineral. We talk about how a rock (the cookie) is made up of many things and a mineral (each ingredient) is one thing. The kids broke up their rocks (like geologists) and recorded the minerals in their science journal. They got to eat their rock at the end! :)


After rocks, we moved on to landforms and natural resources. We used activities from my fabulous teammate Sam's landforms unit! We learned about the names of different landforms and bodies of water and then we filled in what we learned about them in webs. 

After we learned about all the different kinds of landforms, we read Our Earth by Anne Rockwell. The kids pointed out which landforms and bodies of water we had learned about from the book. I drew examples on chart paper and then had the kids draw and label their own. One of my students even made a poster in the art center during free centers time. :)

We talked about natural resources this week. We brainstormed ideas of what things the earth gives us to use. I drew examples on chart paper and my students made a flip book to draw three examples of natural resources on the front. Underneath, they drew examples of how we use those natural resources.

We did a few Earth Day activities at the end of the week, but we will be doing more next week. I'll be posting about that soon! If you are interested in any of the earth, rock or water activities we did, click on the picture below!

1 comment:

Mrs. M said...

I love your sorting rocks activities. I'm a new follower!

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