Rocks

Science Year 3/4 This Planet Rocks

Some independent television programme makers want to make a documentary for children on rocks and fossils called This Planet Rocks! They would like children to present the show and be the rock experts. They have asked your class to help make some pilot programmes for them. Are you up to the challenge? You will need to brush up on your expertise on rocks, fossils and soils.

Session 1 Rock stars

Objectives

You agree to help Mr Crag and begin to find out more about rocks by observing, drawing and describing 6 different types and learning their names. You also write and perform a TV presenter’s script on rocks.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Make systematic and careful observations.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings and labelled diagrams.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • A printed copy of the letter to the class (personalised if possible)
  • Task sheets
  • Instructions on how to play ‘Rock Stars’

Additional Resources

  • Small rock samples of: chalk, slate, sandstone, granite, limestone, and marble (you will need approx. 5 - 6 samples of each)
  • Paper plates and marker pen
  • Rulers, pastels, wax or pencil crayons
  • A3 copy of the ‘Rock Sheet’ per child and magnifying lenses
  • ‘Rock Scientist’s Help Sheet’ - 1 copy between two children
  • 1 copy on card of the rock labels with descriptions sheet per group
  • Rock star template printed onto card and cut out (1 per group)
  • A strong cloth drawstring bag

Weblinks
2 child presenters doing a science experiment from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Observe rocks closely and discover that they have different qualities and features.
  • Be able to name 6 common rocks.

Activities

  1. Ask questions that can be answered through scientific enquiry.
  2. Make detailed drawings of 6 common rocks and write descriptions of their observable features.
  3. Learn the names of 6 common rocks.
  4. Write and perform a TV presenters script on the theme of rocks.

Investigation - classifying and identifying
You agree to make a pilot TV programme on rocks fossils and soils called This Planet Rocks. Get to know 6 different rocks by observing, grouping and describing their properties and features.
Year 3 - Write a general introduction to the programme.
Year 4 - Write a script to show, name and describe the properties of the 6 sample rocks.

Vocabulary
Rock, sandstone, limestone, chalk, granite, slate, marble, classification, observation

Session 2 Become rock detectives!

Objectives

Mr Crag wants the programmes to teach the viewers how rocks are formed and how we can try to work out which rocks are which. Become Rock Detectives and put your observations to the test!

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.

Working Scientifically

  1. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  2. Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  3. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • 2 task sheets
  • Rock Identification Key
  • ‘Rock Reminder Sheet’
  • 3 PowerPoints
  • Teacher’s notes

Additional Resources

  • Rock samples - marble, chalk, limestone, slate, granite, sandstone, pumice, basalt, shale, conglomerate, (bold –essential – ideally at least 9–10 of each (1 set between 3), others –desirable for acid test and identification activity
  • Magnifying lenses and microscopes
  • Vinegar
  • Pipettes, plastic beakers and water
  • Protective goggles (enough for a third of the class)
  • A selection of items to test hardness, e.g. wooden lolly sticks, plastic spoons, iron nails, cardboard, sandpaper, small rock labels, compartment trays
  • Paper plates, plastic gloves and sticky tape

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand that rocks are formed in 3 different ways.
  • Devise comparative tests for rocks, record and evaluate observations and results.

Activities

  1. Learn the 3 different ways that rocks can be formed (Yr3&4).
  2. Conduct a rock test for either hardness (Yr4) or permeability (Yr3) and try to make it fair.
  3. Conduct an acid test to help identify samples of rock using an identification key (Yr3&4).
  4. Practise presenting information to viewers on what they have learnt this session (Yr3&4).

Investigation - classifying and identifying, fair testing, problem solving
The next part of the programme will need to explain to viewers how rocks are made. Discover the 3 different types of rock – sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic and explain these to the viewers. Conduct different tests to determine which kind of rock the samples are.
Year 3 - Conduct water and hardness tests and write notes to explain to the viewers what this shows.
Year 4 - Conduct an acid test and write notes to explain to the viewers what this tells us.

Vocabulary
Petrologist, man-made rocks, brick, tile, concrete, Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, permeable, impermeable, acid, erosion, marble, chalk, limestone, slate, granite, sandstone, identification key

Session 3 Rock quest

Objectives

Mr Crag wants you to get out on location to discover how different rocks are used in the local environment. Can you find the local bedrock and learn why a range of other rocks can be found?

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.

Working Scientifically

  1. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • ‘Last One Standing’ and task PowerPoints

Additional Resources

  • Digital cameras that can take photos and video if possible
  • One clipboard between 2 children
  • Pencils or pens
  • 2 differentiated task sheets each shared between 2 children
  • Equipment needed to take children out and about your local area, e.g. high visibility vests and first aid kit

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Collect evidence of the local bedrock and other rocks in the local area by doing a Rock Quest.
  • Use knowledge of the properties of rocks to determine why particular rocks were selected for different tasks.

Activities

  1. Take part in an active quiz game to assess and reinforce prior learning on rocks (Yr3&4).
  2. Take part in an off-site Rock Quest to gather information on rocks used in the local area (Yr3&4).
  3. Determine the local bedrock (Yr3&4).
  4. Find evidence of rock erosion (Yr3) or how different rocks are used for different jobs and why (Yr4).

Investigation - exploring, problem solving
The programme makers want you to show how rocks are used in the local environment. Go out on location taking photos or film clips of different rocks used for buildings, walls, steps, monuments etc.
Year 3 - Using your film or photos, write programme notes to explain about the bedrock of the area and how it has been used.
Year 4 - Write a script that explains how they are used for different purposes according to their properties.

Vocabulary
Petrologist, bedrock, permeable, impermeable, properties

Session 4 Fabulous fossils

Objectives

Mr Crag needs you to become fossil experts so you meet with a time traveller, Mary Anning. Can you discover the secrets of her amazing life and learn how fossils are formed?

Science Objectives
i) Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Instructions on making fossils
  • Mary Anning notes
  • Teacher’s notes
  • Copies of the task sheets

Additional Resources

  • A few costume props to role play Mary Anning - an early 19th century poor woman (e.g. white apron, shawl, straw hat)
  • A selection of seashells with distinctive shapes, e.g. cockles
  • A quantity of Plasticine – a lump the size of a large plum per child
  • Small rolling pins
  • Flat boards or trays – enough to hold all the “fossils”
  • Thick card – cut into strips - 4 x 22cm approx. and rectangles 10 x 15cm approx (1 of each per child) and paper clips
  • Plaster of Paris (or alternative)
  • Poster paint in shades of brown/ grey/ ochre
  • Coloured crayons


Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Discover the great 19th century fossil hunter Mary Anning’s contribution to science.
  • Understand the process of fossil formation and be able to describe it in simple terms.

Activities

  1. Engage (through role play) with the great fossil hunter Mary Anning by asking questions (Yr3&4).
  2. Learn how fossils are made and record the stages through sequencing and illustrating (Yr3) or through writing and illustrating (Yr4).
  3. Make their own “fossil” of a shell using a plasticine mould and plaster of Paris (Yr3&4).
  4. Handle real fossils and rehearse the stages of fossil formation through oral retelling (Yr3&4).

Investigation - analysing secondary sources
The next part of the programme will be all about fossils. Learn about the life and work of fossil hunter Mary Anning and discover how fossils are made. Make a plaster fossil.
Year 3 - Tell the story of Mary Anning and her discoveries through role play and explanation.
Year 4 - Explain the stages of fossil formation using a sequence of illustrations to help.

Vocabulary
Fossil, ichthyosaur, plesiosaur, ammonite, sediment, minerals, mould, cast

Session 5 Let's be soil detectives!

Objectives

The final pilot programme will be about soil so Mr Crag needs you to become experts with some fascinating hands on investigations to discover what soil is made of and whether all soil is the same.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.

Working Scientifically

  1. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.
  2. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.
  3. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Task sheets
  • ‘What am I?’ PowerPoint
  • Teacher’s notes

Additional Resources

  • Soil samples – see teacher’s notes
  • Flip chart and marker pens
  • Coloured pencils and A4 white paper
  • Lidded tubs to store soil for the Soil Detective activity (enough for one per group or table)
  • One per child of the following: plastic spoon, sheet of A4 paper, pair of plastic gloves and a magnifying lens
  • Plastic beakers (jug style if possible), plastic funnels, cotton wool balls
  • Finely calibrated measuring cylinders
  • Plastic jars with tightly fitting screw lids
  • Some non-standard measures of capacity, e.g. a scoop, a small cup, and a tablespoon

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate, discover and classify the different components of soil.
  • Gather evidence on how different soils can vary and suggest reasons for this.

Activities

  1. Play a guessing game to learn some amazing facts about soil and the role it plays in supporting life (Yr3&4).
  2. Closely observe soil with hand lenses and list and classify the constituent parts (Yr3&4).
  3. Actively investigate and compare 3 different soils and their properties, recording findings (Yr3&4).
  4. With support, draw conclusions on the reasons for variation between soils (Yr3&4).

Investigation - exploring, problem solving, fair testing
The programme makers want to include a section all about soil so you need to become experts. Discover some amazing facts about soil and conduct tests to compare 3 different soil samples.
Year 3 - Conduct a drainers and soakers test to compare 3 different soils.
Year 4 - Conduct a shakeup test to compare different soils.

Vocabulary
Soil, micro-organisms, organic matter, particles, sand, silt, fair test, compare, sort, predict

Session 6 Lights, camera, action!

Objectives

It’s time to make some films. Work as a team to present, film, direct and produce your own section for the pilot TV series This Planet Rocks.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.

ii) Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.

iii) Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Quiz, answers and task PowerPoints
  • Quiz and answer sheets
  • ‘Pilot Programme Planning Sheet’
  • Role reminder sheet
  • Teacher’s notes

Additional Resources

  • Digital video cameras
  • Rock samples (as used previously): marble, chalk, limestone, slate, granite, sandstone, pumice, basalt, shale and conglomerate
  • Magnifying lenses and microscopes
  • For Acid Test group: vinegar, pipettes, plastic beakers, water, protective goggles
  • For Hardness test group: a selection of items to test hardness, e.g. wooden lolly sticks, plastic spoons, iron nails, cardboard, sandpaper, plastic gloves
  • For fossil group: a few costume props to role play Mary and Joseph Anning, seashells with distinctive shapes, e.g. cockles, plasticise, small rolling pin, strip of thick card, paper clips, thick card base
  • For the soil group: soil samples, plastic spoon, plastic gloves, magnifying lens, plastic funnels, plastic beakers (jug style if possible), balls of cotton wool, finely calibrated measuring cylinders, and plastic jars with tightly fitting screw lids

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Recap on all their previous learning and vocabulary by completing a Rock, Fossil and Soil quiz.
  • Work as a team to make film sequences to present information on rocks and fossils.

Activities

  1. Take part in a quiz to assess and review their knowledge of rocks, fossils and soils (Yr3&4).
  2. Work as a team to produce a film that explains and presents an aspect of their learning in this block (Yr3&4).
  3. Give clear explanations of scientific content using appropriate technical vocabulary (Yr3&4).
  4. Review the task through the sharing of results and discussion (Yr3&4).

Investigation - problem solving
It’s time to put your programme together using your scripts, photos, notes and test results. Create a film or presentation.
Year 3 /Year 4 - Work together in mixed ability groups. Have higher expectations with regard to year 4s on the level of explanation.

Vocabulary
All vocabulary previously learnt on this block