My Favorite Rock

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SWBAT compose a paragraph about their favorite kind of rock.

Big Idea

Is it metamorphic, sedimentary, or igneous?

Setting the Stage

National Science Teaching Standards

Earth Science

  • Types of resources

Resources are things that we get from living and nonliving things to meet our needs such as: rocks, soils, water, and air. Rocks can be described according to their origin, size, shape, texture, and color.  Also, rocks are made up of one or more minerals and there are three kinds of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.  This lesson is important because students focus on one kind of rock to compose a paragraph. They write about the color, texture, and size.

Science and Engineering Practices: 

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in written form to discuss scientific ideas.   In this lesson, groups communicate using details that they learned about a rock. This lesson is imperative because students compose an opinion paragraph about their favorite rock. This provides students with an opportunity to communicate their findings. As students work like a scientist, it is important that students learn how to share their findings with others through writing.

Prior Knowledge:

Students understand Earth resources. They know that Earth resources are air, water, plants, animals, and rocks. They also know that these things are living and non-living things that are a part of Earth. Also, students know how to classify rocks by size, color, shape, and texture. They also understand that rocks are made up of one or more minerals and there are three kinds of rocks: metamorphic, sedimentary, igneous. I recommend teaching "Let's Rock It", so student will be familiar with the three kinds of rocks, Let's Rock It.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets that they created early in the school year during their experiments. I call them scientists to empower them to major in science and math related careers. I want them to discover a love for science and math. Also, we sing "It is Science Time" before each lesson.  


Let's Brainstorm

20 minutes

While students, 4-5, sit at a table,students are informed that it is important for scientists to communicate their findings and ideas through writing.  Students are informed that they are going to write about their favorite rock.

 I inform the students that they are going to compose a paragraph about their favorite rock. They are going to look at the Rock Tracker with rocks at their table. The rocks are located on a teacher created rock tracker, so they know the name of the rocks and kinds of rocks. I provide each student with a favorite rock checklist. Students are encouraged to select their favorite rock and tell how it looks, feels, and its luster.  I provide the checklist so students can begin to brainstorm about their favorite rock.  Listen to a student brainstorm, My Favorite Rock- video.

Then students are provided with a graphic organizer for brainstorming their ideas. The graphic organizer asks the students questions that relate to the checklist such as: What is your favorite rock?; What color is it?; How does it feel?; What is the luster?. Also, I added a bubble for students to develop a question sentence for the readers. The graphic organizer helps students to organize their thoughts before writing their paragraph. The question sentence helps the reader to be engaged with the students' writing. Also, I inform students to write complete sentences to answer the questions. 



Let's Write and Draw

20 minutes

While students are sitting at their table, I pass out a writing template for students to write about their favorite rock. 

I say: You should refer to your graphic organizer.  There are numbers by each bubble. You should compose a paragraph using those sentences, starting with number 1 as your first sentence. Then you should write sentences number 2, 3, and 4. Please remember to indent. 

Students stand to sing the "Paragraph Song." The song helps the students to remember to indent. Also, it motivates and encourages them to indent, too.

Students are informed that they should draw a picture that depicts what they have written. This is done so students  can use lines and colors to create a picture. This also aids students in appreciating the arts. Here is an example of student work, My Favorite Rock.


Let's Share It

15 minutes

Students are permitted to share their paragraph. I listen to the students reading their paragraph. I allow them to share in their groups due to time constraints. This gives all students an opportunity to share their creative work product.  This also permits students to build on prior experiences in communicating new information to others while working on SP 8.

After the students share, I take up the papers and evaluate them.  Students should have selected a rock and discussed the size, texture, and luster of that rock. Also, I am looking for main idea/topic, capitalization, punctuation, content, legible handwriting, and appeal.   It is imperative that students begin to compose papers that discuss scientific findings.

Students' work is placed on the wall for others to acknowledge their finished product. Only quality work is displayed to boost students' self esteem.