Rocks, Minerals and Soil Fact Finding

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SWBAT identify differences between rocks, minerals, and soil.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students deepen their knowledge of rocks, minerals, and soil by creating pyramid mobiles and finding facts in a variety of books.


5 minutes

My students have a variety of background knowledge about rocks, minerals, and soil.  Several of the students in my class collect rocks, have been sapphire mining, while others have not.  To begin this unit, I wanted my students to be able to go on a fact finding scavenger hunt in order for all student to gain information.  This lesson also served as a fourth grade reading lesson in which students had to find facts from an informational text. This is an important skill and standard in fourth grade and one that needs lots of practice. 

With informational text, fourth graders are expected to process information from two different sources whether it’s another book, a photo essay, a magazine article, or an encyclopedia entry. Students need to be able to speak with authority on what they’ve learned and include facts from the two sources, sifting through the subtle differences between the facts in a first-person’s account, say, and a third-person narration. 


40 minutes

In this lesson, students work with a partner to find facts about rocks, minerals, and soil.  In previous lessons, my students have been fascinated by looking at samples of rocks or minerals.  They have brought several rocks from home to show and have involved family members with our class discussions.  Because my students were so engaged with rocks, I decided to add in another lesson about rocks, minerals, and soil in this unit. 

For this lesson, students work quickly to find as many facts as they can about rocks, minerals and soil by looking through various books I  checked out at the library.  Students record their facts on a paper pyramid foldable. (Complete directions for the foldable can be found on page 40 of the foldable instructions on this website - .)

 You can see students reading together in these photographs to find new information. 



In these videos listen in as students talk about facts they found. fact finding scavenger hunt 1fact finding scavenger hunt 2

 The following photographs show some finished foldables.  I chose to use foldables for this lesson so they could hang from the ceiling for a few weeks.