I wonder if students tend to be taught about the properties of rocks, but not their relationship to the big picture of the Earth's past environments because the teachers do not have enough of a knowledge base to go any further. I have some experience teaching fifth graders about rocks and minerals, and I know I didn't make a thorough connection.
One engaging activity I did implement, however, was mineral testing. The students had various mineral samples which were labeld with numbers. They had to note each mineral's characteristics and, using their observations and reference materials, identify the name of each mineral sample they tested.
Another way to engage students would be to complete some of the same activities created for this course. Students could gather and examine their own rock samples. Teachers could then help the students to identify characteristics of the rocks and how they came to exist in that particular region. They could learn how to tell the "story" of their rocks. The "story" could become a creative writing assignment. The instruction would make frequent connections between the geology concepts in the curriculum, the students' environment, and their rock samples.
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Received on Fri Jun 16 09:56:38 2006