If you attempt to break rocks with a hammer,
make sure there is constant adult supervision and everyone is wearing
protective eye covering to guard against flying chips of rock. Always
hammer on an appropriate surface.
Questions to Ask
When you are on the rock hunt, ask children where to look for them.
How do they think the rocks got there? Where did they come from?
When the collection is new, ask how the rocks are similar
how they are different. You might want to make a chart that includes
color, size, texture, etc.
Tips for Less Mess: This is a wonderful outside activity. If you
choose to explore the rocks indoors, place old towels or newspaper
on the work surface. A broom might also come in handy.
The earths surface, its crust, is made up of enormous plates
of rock. The rain, wind, moving water, cold and hot temperatures,
and ice cause the crust to break up into smaller pieces. Every rock
you find was once part of a larger rock. Erosion is the wearing
away and removal of the earths surface. When rocks are carried
by water or ice they come in contact with the stream bottom or other
rocks. This abrasion tends to round off sharp edges
To be a geologist and explore the nature of rocks
What You Need 2 Clear wide-mouth plastic jars with lids
10 Small rocks
What to Do
Take a rock collecting walk with the children. When they have
found approximately 10 rocks, ask them to get to know
them. Brainstorm ideas as to how to accomplish this. Then, ask
the children to place their rocks in one of the containers. Add
water until they are just covered. Securely tighten the lid. Start
to shake the jar and count to 100. When the water becomes cloudy,
have them carefully pour the rocks and water through the sieve,
catching the water in the second jar. Examine the rocks. What
has happened? What changes do you see in the water and the rocks?
What do you feel inside the jar? Repeat the process. What happens
Minerals: Solid, inorganic, naturally occurring substances that
have specific properties. Minerals are the building blocks of
Pebbles: Small stones worn smooth and round by the action of water
Rocks: Solid mixtures of minerals. There are three types of rocks
sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous.
Weathering: The slow breaking down of rocks on the earths
surface by rain, wind, heat, frost, and/or water
Make your own sand by rubbing pieces of sandstone together over
a piece of paper. Where else can you find sand? Try this again,
but first place some glue on the paper. Rub the sandstone over
the glue. How could you make a colored sand picture?
Ask the children how they could break a piece of sandstone. Try
their suggestions. You can wrap the sandstone in an old towel
or many paper towels and then use a hammer to smash the large
rock. Make sure the children wear goggles for this activity.
You might want to play Which rock is missing? After
the children are familiar with the rocks in the collection, have
them cover their eyes, Remove one of the rocks. Can they guess
which one is missing? How did they know?