Students are introduced to the mineral portion of the planet on which they live. They investigate several kinds of rocks and begin to develop an understanding of the properties of rocks. Students rub rocks, wash rocks, sort rocks, and describe rocks. They also begin to organize a class rock collection.
Students investigate a river rock mixture consisting of earth materials of different sizes. They separate the rocks using a series of three screens to identify five sizes of rocks: large pebbles, small pebbles, large gravel, small gravel, and sand. They add water to a vial of sand to discover silt and clay.
Students learn how people use earth materials to construct objects. Students make rubbings from sandpaper, sculptures from sand, decorative jewelry from clay, and bricks from clay soil. They go on a schoolyard field trip to look for places where earth materials occur naturally and where people have incorporated earth materials into building materials.
Students put together and take apart soils. They are introduced to humus as an ingredient in soil. Homemade and local soils are compared.
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