Do Rocks Last Forever?

Contributor
California Department of Conservation
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Activity , Article , Experiment/Lab Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The California Geological Survey Kids Geozone website is dedicated to students having fun while learning about the geosciences. Parents and teachers will find activities and links of interest. Do Rocks Last Forever looks at the weathering process on rocks.  It gives the reader directions for 4 different mechanical and chemical weathering activities and suggested investigations that can be implemented into the classroom to illustrate the effects of weathering on rocks.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 2
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Clarification Statement: Examples of events and timescales could include volcanic explosions and earthquakes, which happen quickly and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of timescales.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This webpage has directions for 4 different investigations that illustrate the effects of mechanical and chemical weathering. The instructor must provide class discussion that intentionally focuses on comparing time differences in different types of weathering and build on the students' connections to real-world observations. The discussion will serve to support the ideas in this Performance Expectation that earth events can occur quickly or slowly. This webpage has directions for 4 different investigations, which illustrate the effects of mechanical and chemical weathering. The instructor must provide class discussion that intentionally focuses on comparing time differences in different types of weathering and build on the students' connections to real-world observations. The discussion will serve to support the ideas in this Performance Expectation that earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The author provides a variety of ways for students to engage in the investigations. Teachers should require students to record and share observations in a science journal. Then they can monitor student responses to ensure that the entire Practice is addressed.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To fully address the Core Idea, the teacher should ensure that all parts of the lesson are completed. While student journals are used to record and describe observations, students could extend their learning by making connections with real-world experiences through a class discussion, readings, research or the use of media.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
To ensure that the full Crosscutting Concept is addressed, it is suggested that the lesson include a discussion about students ideas and experiences with weathering before the investigations are conducted. After the investigations it is also suggested that the recorded evidence is shared and student reasoning is supported. Use of the KLEWS (Know, Learn, Evidence, Wonderings, Scientific Concepts) model during the lesson will help students document their learning.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Grade-appropriate elements of the Disciplinary Core Idea(s), and Crosscutting Concept(s), work together to support students in three-dimensional learning to make sense of phenomenon. The integration of 4 different hands-on weathering investigations is nicely done. The lesson would be stronger with student work pages or journaling suggestions as well as rubrics for assessing. This would help improve the ability of the teacher to monitor student progress and the students to track their learnings, but the investigations themselves are good.

  • Instructional Supports: The resource provides the necessary information for a teacher to be prepared to teach about the speed of change of the earth, specifically rocks. It is suggested that the teacher collect video segments, Google earth screen shots and/or pictorial examples of weathering as supports for instruction. If there is a person that has lived in the area for many years it may be helpful to invite them to discuss the rate if changes that they have noticed of earth materials. It is recommended that students work in pairs or in small groups to complete the investigations/activities and that the changes be recored using a device such as a tablet or cellphone.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Discussion is the only form of assessment that is suggested. One idea for an assessment would be to have the students predict what will happen if something were changed in the investigation (the weight on the rocks for instance) that way the teacher could do a quick informal assessment about what students are understanding. Summative and Formative written assessment will need to be developed by the teacher.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: No technology is included in this lesson. Video segments recorded by the students could be used as evidence to support the claim that change occurs to the earth.