Beacon Lesson Plan Library
A Rocky Situation
Bay District Schools
This lesson is for Days 4 and 5 of the unit Bedlam in Bedrock. Students use reference materials to explore how rocks can be broken down to form soil, the processes of weathering and erosion, and how landforms change over time.
The student knows that smaller rocks come from the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks.
The student understands the processes of weathering and erosion.
The student knows that land forms change over time (for example, earthquakes, volcanoes).
The student uses sketches, diagrams and models to understand scientific ideas.
The student uses reference materials to obtain information related to science concepts.
-Large rock (about 5-6” wide and 3-4” high)
-Soil in a see-through container
-Pebbles (softer ones, that when scratched, small particles come off; for example, limestone, gypsum, shale, etc.), enough for every two students to fill in a small jar
-Small plastic jars or other containers such as Tupperware with lids, enough for every two students to have a container
-A piece of 12”x18” white construction paper, one for each pair of students
-Small hand lens, one per student
-Vocabulary Words and Meanings, previously downloaded, copied, and laminated in Lesson One
-Big Book, [Rocks and Soil], by Natalie Lunis
-Big Book, [The Restless Earth], by Melvin Berger
-Chart paper, at least two pieces
-Student Online Web Lesson, [Breaking News]
-Video, [Our Changing Earth], by Rainbow Educational Video.
-Fast Change/Slow Change chart, previously begun on Day 3
-Experiment Instruction Sheet, one copy per pair of students (see associated file)
-2 pieces of blackboard chalk per pair of students
-Small jar with lid, one per pair of students
-Shallow box or shallow metal baking pan, one per pair of students
-Sand, enough for each pair to use one bucketful
-Small buckets or plastic containers, 4-5, for students to get sand and soil and pour it into their boxes
-Goggles, one per student
-Drinking straws, one per studentAttached
-Soil, enough for each pair of students to use one bucketful
-Watering can or bottle, one per pair of students (Note: A milk carton or juice carton could be used.)
-Leaves and sticks, enough for each pair of students to have ½ bucket
-Earth Explorer Activity 2, one copy per student (see associated file)
-Earth Explorer Activity 2 Key (see associated file)
-Earth Explorer Journals
-Pencils, one per student
-Student Online Web Lesson, [Breaking News]
Rubric for Summative Assessment 1, one per student (see extensions)
-Student Online Web Lesson, [Breaking News]
1. Gather materials.
2. Preview and bookmark the Student Web Lesson [Breaking News] (see Weblinks) on classroom computers or computers in the computer lab.
3. An extensive bibliography of reference materials is provided (see extensions).
1. Gather materials.
2. Set up video projection system.
3. Download and make copies of Experiment Instruction Sheet, one copy of each page per student (see associated file).
4. Download and make copies of Earth Explorer Activity 2, one per student (see associated file).
5. Download and make one copy of the Earth Explorer Activity 2 Key (see associated file).
6. The teacher may choose to have students rotate to experiment stations. After each station is completed, the students clean up and get the station ready for the next group. There could be groups of about six students going to each station and enough supplies for the larger group to break into small groups of 2-3 once they are at the station.
7. An extensive bibliography of reference materials is provided (see extensions).
1. Download and make copies of Rubric for Summative Assessment 1, one per student (see extensions).
2. An extensive bibliography of reference materials is provided (see extensions).
Vocabulary introduced on Day 4: weathering, erosion, landform, tsunami
1. Review concepts taught on Days 1 and 2 by calling on students to read words and meanings on the Big Word Wall.
2. Display a large rock and some soil in a see-through container. Ask students “What do you think these two things have in common?” Allow time for discussion and chart student responses.
3. Tell students you’d like for them to do a little experiment. Divide students into pairs.
4. Have each pair of students place a layer of pebbles or small rocks in a plastic container with a lid. Upon your signal, they are to shake the rocks a hundred times, with each partner having an equal amount of time to shake. Caution students to make sure to firmly hold the lids on the containers as they shake.
5. Provide each pair of students with a 12”x18” piece of white construction paper and a small hand lens.
6. When students have completed the one hundred shakes, they are to carefully open the lid of the container and pour the contents onto a piece of white construction paper.
7. Students use the hand lens to observe what has happened.
8. Ask students to share any new insights as to what the large rock and soil might have in common. Add their responses to the chart.
9. Guide students in recognizing that the rocks inside the container rubbed against each other during the shaking action and made smaller pieces of rock. Soil is actually small pieces of rock mixed with decaying leaves and other living things. Explain that smaller rocks come from the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks.
10. Define the word weathering, using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (see lesson one's associated file).
11. Add the word weathering and its meaning to the Big Word Wall.
12. Pair students and have them take a few minutes to brainstorm ideas about forces that could cause rocks to weather.
13. Call on student volunteers to share their ideas about forces that might cause weathering of rocks. Chart the responses and add to the list as more topics are discussed throughout the unit.
14. Tell students you have some reference materials you’d like to share with them on this subject. Read the big books [Rocks and Soil] by Natalie Lunis and [The Restless Earth] by Melvin Berger. Note – the [Rocks and Soil] book is very short.
15. Review weathering and define the word erosion using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (previously downloaded in lesson one). Add the word and its meaning to the Big Word Wall.
16. Explain that weathering and erosion are two processes that can change landforms over time. Define landform using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (previously downloaded in Lesson One). Add the word and its meaning to the Big Word Wall.
17. Lead the students in discussing the processes of weathering and erosion. Guide discussion by asking questions such as: “What is weathering? How does weathering occur? What forces can cause weathering? Can you name some examples of weathering? What is erosion? What forces cause erosion? What is the difference between weathering and erosion?”
18. Discuss ways landforms change over time using the big book [The Restless Earth] as a reference. Guide students in realizing that some of the ways landforms change are fast, and some of them are slow. Ask students to tell examples of each type of change. Chart student responses on a T chart. Sample responses might include: Fast Changes – Volcanoes erupting, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. Slow Changes – weathering and erosion
19. Tell students tomorrow they will learn more about weathering and erosion.
20. Remind students they need to be working on Earth Explorer Project 1 at home. It will be due on Day 6 of the unit.
21. Students begin working in pairs on the Student Online Web Lesson [Breaking News] which goes along with this unit. It is suggested that the teacher pair an accomplished reader with an emerging reader to facilitate completion of this activity.
Vocabulary: Review all words already introduced.
1. Display experiment equipment and peak student interest by telling them today they will perform some experiments to learn more about weathering and erosion.
2. Review previously taught concepts:
· Smaller rocks come from the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks
· Weathering and erosion
· Ways landforms change over time (fast changes, slow changes)
3. Explain to students that today you have another reference material to share with them. This time you have a video entitled [Our Changing Earth] published by Rainbow Educational Video. Encourage students to watch the video to learn more about ways the Earth changes.
4. Lead the students in discussing the video.
5. Add any new information to the Fast Change/Slow Change chart previously begun on Day 4.
6. Tell students today they will do some experiments about weathering and erosion.
7. Students are to read and follow the directions on the Experiment Instruction Sheet (see associated file) to complete the experiments. They write predictions and final reflections about the experiments in Earth Explorer Journals.
Note – To minimize reading difficulty for some students, the teacher may choose to pair an advanced reader with an emerging reader.
8. Pair students and distribute materials and handouts.
9. Students perform the experiments. The teacher facilitates the activities as necessary.
10. When students have had ample time to complete the activities, bring them all back together and discuss the results of their experiments. Add any new information to the chart.
11. Students complete Earth Explorer Activity 2 (see associated file).
12. Formatively assess Earth Explorer Activity 2, providing feedback. Feedback should be both positive (“Wonderful work. Your sketch helps me understand the concept of erosion.”) and guiding (“I don’t understand how the sand got moved to the bottom of the box. Did you pour water onto it? If so, where is the water being poured in your sketch?”)
13. Remind students that their Earth Explorer Projects 1 are due tomorrow. Encourage students to communicate any questions or concerns they might have about their projects.
14. Call on student volunteers to review all vocabulary words and meanings on the Big Word Wall by reading them aloud.
15. Review the stamdards covered so far in the unit.
16. Students continue to work in pairs to complete the Student Online Web Lesson [Breaking News].
1. Students share Earth Explorer Project 1. This serves as both Summative Assessment 1 and as a means of review. During presentations the teacher uses the Rubric for Summative Assessment 1 to assess student projects. The teacher is careful to clarify any misconceptions expressed by students while sharing their projects.
2. Remind students that Summative Assessment 2, a written assessment, will be tomorrow.
3. Students continue to work in pairs to complete the Student Online Web Lesson [Breaking News].
Students complete Earth Explorer Activity 2. Formatively assess performance on the activity for knowledge that smaller rocks come from the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks, understanding of the processes of weathering and erosion, knowledge that landforms change over time, and use of reference materials to obtain information related to science concepts.
Other opportunities for formative assessment exist while students are participating in discussions, experiments, and adding journal entries.
1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2977. Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. An alternative suggestion for steps 3-9 on Day 4 could be to provide students with samples of sand and a magnifying glass or hand lens. Students can see that the sand is made of tiny bits of rock. Sometimes there are many different types of rock mixed together.
3. An alternative strategy for the experiments on Day 5 is to set them up as inquiry experiments.
· First, students use the soil and water to “make a mountain”, then send a soft rain and a hard rain.
· Students then make observations and ask questions or try other “mountains” and precipitation.
· Students could use ice cubes for glaciers and see the effect of moving the ice cube down the “mountain.”
· When students are finished, write their questions down on a chart and guide them in noticing how soil is moved.
4. Background knowledge and visuals on weathering, erosion, and landforms may be necessary. The teacher might want to cover content in science textbooks on landforms prior to teaching this unit.
5. If the teacher is limited in resources/funding, the class could be divided into larger groups than specified in the lesson. For example, students in groups of 3 could shake the jar 33 times.
6. If student copies of the big books [Rocks and Soil] and [The Restless Earth] are available, they could be used as a guided reading component for the Reading Frameworks strategy.
7. Information about weathering and erosion on the provided links could be printed as hard copies for future use as reference materials for Day 8.
8. Local landscape companies could donate the rocks or pebbles and other materials for this lesson. Also, a store like Wal-Mart may provide funds to purchase additional materials.
9. The developer wrote this as an integrated unit. It is hoped that teachers will feel free to use the unit as core curriculum. For instance, the book [The Drop in My Drink] could be used as a shared reading experience in language arts. Content vocabulary words could be used for a “Working with Words” activity. If the teacher chooses not to make this an integrated unit, then additional time for daily lessons may be needed.
This site tells how the Grand Canyon was formed through the process of erosion. Click on Geology.Grand Canyon and Erosion
Kid friendly information about weathering and erosionWeathering and Erosion for Kids
This Student Web Lesson explores various forces that can cause the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks. Breaking News
Additional Materials and Handouts
File Extension: pdf