Plaid Pete Has Rocks In His Head!

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SWBAT use a model to describe how the rock cycle is a result of the interaction of the geosphere and at least one other Earth System.

Big Idea

What is the rock cycle? How are Earth's Systems involved in the process? Students construct model rocks in order to understand the process of how they are formed, and the interaction of the geosphere with Earth's other systems.

Setting Up the Investigation

Connection to The Next Generation Science Standards

In this investigation, students begin the work that will lead them to explore the Disciplinary Core Idea of Earth's Systems:  Earth Materials and Systems -  that Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans).  These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes.  The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate.  Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the atmosphere to determine patterns of weather.  (5-ESS2-1); The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes:  Nearly all of Earth's available water is in the ocean.  Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground:  only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere.  (5-ESS2-2)  and the Crosscutting Concept of Systems and System Models  - A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions (5-ESS2-1), and Scale, Proportion, and Quantity - Standard units are used to describe and measure physical quantities such as weight and volume (5-ESS2-2)

Please Note:  The Lexile Level for Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Scenario Sheet Lesson 9 is 740 (5th Grade Range is 740 - 1010).

The Preparation Time for This Investigation is approximately 20 minutes.  (The anchor chart will take approximately 15 minutes to construct)

Preparation time for first time construction of the following is approximately 20 minutes.

Materials Needed:

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Scenario Sheet - Lesson 9

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Lab Sheet - Lesson 9

One set of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Word Wall Cards - Lesson 9

One paper copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Word Wall Cards - Lesson 9

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete is Perplexed - Lesson 9 Check-Up

3 tablespoons of crayon "sediments" per team (crayon shavings) 

Focus & Motivation

5 minutes

Introduce the Scenario

I tell my students, "Plaid Pete has a tough assignment, and a couple of his friends are going to help him out.  He got into this position because he wasn't listening in class.  Let's read and find out what he missed, so we don't have the same problem!"  

Students Read the Scenario in their Teams

I hand out a copy of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Scenario Sheet - Lesson 9 to my students.  They get their highlighters out and get ready to highlight their parts so that they can read them "Reader's Theater" style.  I explain that today there will be 4 parts - Plaid Pete, his friends Joey, Dawson, and a narrator.

Before my students begin today, I point out that there are some vocabulary words that may be difficult to pronounce.  I have students read the following words from the 2nd Paragraph with me:  erosion, transportation, deposition, and lithification.

 Once the text has been highlighted, my students are off and reading!  The text is more dense than usual, as I have included some important Science content, so there are a few students I have to prompt to slow down!

 Learning Objective & Success Criteria

Note:  Consistent with the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, I am now including a language objective with each lesson.  These objectives were derived from the Washington State ELP Standards Frameworks that are correlated with the CCSS and the NGSS.

I share the learning objective and success criteria:  

Learning Objective:  I can use a model to describe how the rock cycle is a result of the interaction of the geosphere and at least one other Earth System.

Language Objective:  I can construct meaning from oral presentations through grade appropriate listening.  [ELP.4-5.1]

Success Criteria:  I can construct a model to describe the rock cycle and the interaction with at least one other Earth System.

Guided Exploration

25 minutes

Introduce the Task

I explain to my students that they will be constructing models for the 3 types of rocks that are found on earth.  Then, they will be making a claim and evidence statement for which category of rock their model rock best represents.

I hand out Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Lab Sheet - Lesson 9 to each of my students.  We discuss the directions for completing each of the 3 types of crayon "Model Rocks."  I demonstrate how to construct the tin foil pouch by first folding a 4 x 6 rectangular piece of tin foil in half; demonstrate how to place the tablespoon of crayon "sediments" in the middle of the bottom half of the pouch, and then how to fold over the top half back over, and fold over all of the edges in order to seal the pouch so that none of the "sediments" escape.  

Once I am certain that my students understand the directions, I release them to complete their job lists.  They know that once they have a job list that everyone can agree on, then they may get their materials and begin.

Students Construct Model Rocks

I move between my teams, prompting them with questions as they work. They are busy attending to the task at hand, but I want them to be thinking about how the models they are creating, and the process they are using, are similar to Earth processes.  I ask questions such as:  How is this process like what happens on Earth?  I direct their attention to their lab sheets, and ask, "What information here might help you answer that question?"  I am also asking, "How is this model like a real rock?  How is it unlike the thing it is supposed to represent?"  This whole unit is based on the idea of modeling and I want my students to begin thinking of the limitations of models, as well as their strengths.  The limitations of this type of questioning are that a good number of my students do not have sufficient background to make predictions at this point, as seen in this Video Clip.  This activity is their opportunity to build background knowledge.

I ask students to wait to immerse the Model C rock last, because I want to monitor this.  I have a thermos of hot water at the back table, and have set up a container for them to immerse their foil packets.  Once everyone has completed their models, I get my students' attention.

I ask my them to look carefully at their lab sheets.  I say, "These sheets contain information about how the three types of rocks are formed.  I want you to first read this information in your groups, and then look at the column on your lab sheet labeled "Type of Rock."  I would then like you to pencil in the name of the Model in the row in which you think it best belongs."

Once students have completed this task, I tell them it is time to add some new information.


15 minutes

Introduce Narrative Input Chart

Consistent with Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) research, I have prepared a "Narrative Input Chart."  This is a chart that tells a story or shows the steps in a process.  I have constructed an anchor chart that explains the steps of the rock cycle.  I have prepared this ahead of time by sketching out the graphics and key vocabulary in pencil.  I now call my students down to sit on the carpet in front of the chart, as I use colored markers to bring the chart to life and provide the "input."  

I describe the steps of the rock cycle and how the 3 main types of rocks are related to each other (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous).  My input chart is based on The Rock Cycle Diagram from the Kid's Crossing website.  I include the information about the rock cycle affecting the atmosphere.  My students will get additional "input" as they explore The Rock Cycle website from Annenberg Interactives during our computer lab time.

As I provide the "input", I am defining key vocabulary:  weathering, transportation, deposition, lithification, and erosion.  I write the definitions on the chart - the same ones that I will use again during Vocabulary Instruction.  In this way, my students will get a "double dose." I use frequent "turn and talks" to have my students turn and tell a partner what they just heard.  I have a number of students who really need to work on the language objective that I have set - "I can construct meaning from oral presentations through grade appropriate listening."  

I have also included key information that I want my students to understand about the idea of scale - how this cycle takes into account spatial scales - that rocks being constructed and recycled can be fractions of millimeters in size to thousands of kilometers in size; and time scale; how some rocks can be created in milliseconds, while others take millions of years.

I want my students to understand that the rock cycle is a continuous cycle that involves multiple spheres, or Earth Systems.  I link what they learned in their lessons on plate tectonics to show them that plate movement is one of the ways that new rock gets pushed up to Earth's surface.  This Video Clip Shows the beginning of my Narrative Input.  

When I have finished providing input, I pass out one Post-It Note to each student and ask them to "Stop and Jot" and finish the sentence stem - Wow I didn't know ____.  These are some of the Post-Its that I collected:

I tell my students, "I have introduced quite a bit of new vocabulary here and I would like to review some of it and have you add it to your Science Notebooks.  You will also need it to complete our last task of the day.  Let's get our notebooks out and get ready to add these."

Vocabulary Instruction

10 minutes

Consistent with the 5E Model for Science Instruction, I have provided a hands-on opportunity before introducing vocabulary. Introduce Vocabulary

Introduce Vocabulary

I present the words from the Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Word Wall Cards - Lesson 9 using the following instructional routine.

  1. Say the word to students.
  2. Ask students to repeat the word at least 5 times.  For example, I will say, "Say it to the window.  Say it to my hand.  Say it to the door.  Say it to the ceiling."
  3. I say the word in context.  For example, I will say, " The position the plants were placed in was one of the controlled variables in the video."  
  4. I will then randomly call on a student to use the word in a sentence, giving successive prompts to assist them, if needed.

Science Notebooks

I use the following routine to have students write these words into their Science Notebooks:

After introducing the words, I demonstrate for students how to make a three column table with rows for each of the eight vocabulary words.  I model for them in my own Science Notebook how to write the word in the first box, a non-linguistic (e.g. picture) representation of the word in the second box, and work with the class to generate an example sentence for the first word in the third box. Students cut out their copies of the cards and place in the envelope, which they glue on the page behind their table.  They will finish sentences for the remaining seven words either for homework, or for seat-work later.  A completed notebook will look like this Example.

Now that my students have this additional information, I tell them it is time to use it to make a claim about the rocks they created earlier!

Reflection & Closure

10 minutes

Claims & Evidence 

I send my students back to their desks.  I remind them that they have now learned the name of the three types of rocks found on Earth:  sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.  They have also learned how these types of rock are created.   I tell them that they now have two jobs.  Their first job is to turn to the next clean page in their Science Notebook and create a T Table.  I say, "As we have done before, label the left side of your T table "Claims" and the right side "Evidence."  Then, you will make three claims, and support them with evidence.  You have constructed three model rocks.  You will now make a claim about which type of Earth's rocks your model represents.  I will give you the following stems to assist you:

I claim that Model ____ is a model for a(n) ___________ rock.

My evidence is ___________________.

I ask, "What resources do you have available that will provide evidence for your claims?"  I call on a student who correctly answers that they have both their lab sheet and our classroom chart.

I move between my teams, checking to see that they are discussing the information, and looking for an opportunity to check my student's thinking.  At the end of this Video Clip 1 , it is apparent that this student is on the edge of understanding, so I use questioning to push his thinking further.  In this Video Clip 2, this student is using the Narrative Input Chart to assist him in pulling together his evidence.

I allow my students to get buy and collect Science Notebooks when they are through.  I will look over their claims and evidence and make comments in their notebooks.  I want to guide them towards supporting their claims with the strongest evidence possible.  Tomorrow, I will pull two notebook examples (one with a stronger claim and one with a weaker claim) and we will discuss them in class.  Note - I will ask students' permission before doing so - they are usually quite happy to volunteer.  We have built a classroom where we can critique ideas, without criticizing people.

Tomorrow for their "Do Now" activity, my students will complete Plaid Pete is Perplexed - Lesson 9 Check-Up