Earth and Space Science
Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion
In addition to exploring the living things around them, students should
also become familiar with the earth materials that make up their world.
They should be provided with opportunities to learn that rocks are used
for many things within a community and that rock characteristics help determine
their use. Students can then explore the changing landscape by examining
the processes of erosion, transport, and deposit; and determine how wind,
water, and ice reshape the landscape. An examination of these processes
also leads to discussions of ways that humans prevent landscape from changing
or adapt to a changing landscape. This illustrative example emphasizes
the relationships between science and technology.
Students explore rocks found around them.
The above exploration may lead to the following question:
Collect rocks for individual, small-group, or class collections and
observe similarities and differences between them.
Brainstorm a list of places where, or ways in which, rocks are used.
This list should include practical activities such as building and road
construction, and more aesthetic activities such as carving and landscaping.
What characteristics of rocks make them suited to specific uses?
Students investigate the physical properties of rocks.
Describe and compare rocks and minerals according to their physical properties.
use magnifying glasses and simple tests, such as for hardness.
Classify the rocks studied according to their physical properties.
Students identify which rocks are best suited for a specific purpose.
Make a recommendation as to which type of rock is best suited for steps.
Rationale should include a description of the physical properties of the
selected rock and predictions based on long-term wear.
Substitute soap for soapstone to try their hands at carving, and research
various cultural uses of rocks including Inuit carvings and Aboriginal
Visit a local construction site or use multi-media resources to learn
more about why particular rocks are used to solve particular problems in
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