Earth Rocks!

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SWBAT describe the difference betweens rocks, soils and minerals.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students gain background knowledge about the difference between rocks, soils, and minerals through direct instruction.


5 minutes

I begin this lesson by showing this Bill Nye video.  It's a great way to engage students with our new unit of study - Earth changes. This video gives some basic information about rocks and soil that students will use in future lessons. 

Explore, Explain, and Elaborate

30 minutes

Since this lesson is mostly direct instruction, I decided to have students take notes in this lesson by creating an Earth Rocks book instead of taking notes in their science notebooks.  

To begin this lesson, I show the Rocks, Mineral, and Soil Powerpoint.  Rocks Minerals and Soil

As I go through the slideshow, I give the students information about rocks, minerals, and soil, noting the differences, similarities, and characteristics.  Some of the information I relay to students can be found in my Earth Rocks information sheet. Earth Rocks information

As I go through the powerpoint, I stop at each slide to give further information. I also direct students to take notes, by creating a book.  See below for samples of each book page. 



Page 1 - What are Rocks>


Page 2 -  Types of Rocks 


Page 3 - What are Minerals?



Page 4 - How are Rocks and Minerals Different 


Page 5 - What is Soil? 


 To wrap up this lesson, I show students a mystery sample and ask student to identify if they think it is a rock, mineral or soil. Hear their ideas in this video. Mystery sample

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To wrap up this lesson, I direct students to talk with their table partner about how rocks, minerals, and soil are related. As students talk, I circulate around the room to listen in on conversations. Next, I end the lesson with this short summation video.