Our class is beginning a new science unit using the FOSS Earth Materials Module. We will investigate a selection of the most common rocks and minerals that make up Earth’s crust, and learn some techniques used by geologists to identify them. Geology requires analysis. To develop analytical skills and techniques, we will first take apart a simulated rock called a Mock Rock. We will observe them, break them apart, dissolve them in water, and evaporate the liquid to discover the ingredients from which our rocks are made. We will then move on to real rocks and minerals, using scratch tools and acid (vinegar) to test for specific minerals. Finally we will look at granite, the base rock from which continents are made, and analyze it to discover the minerals it contains. You can increase your child’s understanding and interest in earth materials by asking him or her to talk about the investigations we are doing at school. Rocks, which appear so commonplace, may become objects that inspire questions and promote close observation. You and your child may want to start a rock collection, or visit the library or (if possible) a rock and mineral display to expand your rock and mineral knowledge. A visit to a landscape materials center or a jewelry store (gems are minerals) can expose the broad range of uses for earth materials. We’re looking forward to weeks of fun with rocks and minerals! If you have questions or comments, or have expertise you would like to share with the class, please drop me a note.
Mrs. Ana Rhyne
I teach 4th grade math and science at Weatherstone Elementary School. I graduated from Meredith College with a BA in Spanish and K-6 licensure.