What is our earth made of?

For students of 3rd to 3rd grade.

What is our earth made of?

S3E1. Students will investigate the physical attributes of rocks and soils.
a.	Explain the difference between a rock and a mineral.
b.	Recognize the physical attributes of rocks and minerals using observation (shape, color, and texture), measurement, and simple tests (hardness).
c.	Use observation to compare the similarities and differences of texture, particle size, and color in top soils (clay, loam, sand).
d.	Determine how water and wind can change rocks and soil over time using observation and research.

S3E2. Students will investigate fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
a.	Investigate fossils by observing authentic fossils or models of fossils or view information about fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago.
b.	Describe how a fossil is formed.

Essential Question of the Culminating Activity:
What is our earth made of?

Objective: Students will identify igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks as the three types of rock that are found on Earth.

Materials: computer with Internet access, projection device, Wikipedia, Flickr account, 
rocks, minerals, fossils, Starbust candies

Launch Activity:  Read The Pebble in My Pocket by Meredith Hooper. Discuss the book. Preview unit vocabulary. Explain the culminating activity so the students will be aware of what the result will be.

Culminating Activity: When we finish studying rocks, minerals, soil, and fossils, you will create a display of different types of rocks, soil, and minerals.  

Essential Question Lesson GPS: S3E1a,b
What are the three types of rocks and how do I identify them?

Activating Strategies:
Have a basket full of different items made from rocks and minerals. Ask what they all have in common (telephone, jewelry, toothpaste).

Key Vocabulary

Teaching Strategies:  (Collaborative Pairs; Distributed Guided Practice, Distributed Summarizing; Graphic Organizers)
Pass out teacher made graphic organizer. Explain the 3 types of rock using Wikipedia, Rocks (Geography) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocks_and_minerals.  Follow links to each of the three types of rocks.  Show examples of each type of rock. Create a Flickr account and obtain pictures of each type of rock before class.  These pictures can be carefully chosen to illustrate the characteristics of each type of rock.  Fill in Graphic Organizer as each type is discussed. After describing each type, divide students into groups of two(number each pair as a 1 and a 2) and give each child 3 different colors of Starburst candy. Explain the candies will represent the layers in a sedimentary rock. 
1s tell 2s what the layers in a sedimentary rock are made of. (sediments)
2s tell 1s what 2 things are needed to make a metamorphic rock. (heat and pressure).  Have them stack candy, hold in open palms, and slowly push palms together making sure they don't twist or smash into a ball. While they are pushing, have 2s tell 1s what 2 forces they are applying to candy. (heat, pressure). 
In groups discuss what happened to their sedimentary rocks after they applied heat and pressure. 
Explain they now have a metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been changed because heat and pressure have been added.  Discuss how heat and pressure in the earth form metamorphic rocks. Allow them to eat their rocks.
Go over the Graphic Organizer as a whole group to correct any misunderstandings.