Monday, May 17, 2010

Taking 3rd graders into the field

One of the objectives in 3rd grade science around here is to see examples of each rock type. What better way to that than by taking the kids out to see the rocks in situ (and even take home a sample or two)

The day started in the classroom with a quick reminder of the parts of the rock cycle. Once we established the names of the three main rock types, it was time to head for the buses.

The big yellow taxi took the 2 teachers, 4 chaperone's, 32 school kids and 1 geologist up into the nearby mountains. Once in place, I showed them some local sand stone and limestone and then asked the kids to examine the rock and describe what they saw. My goal was to have them see geology as a descriptive and interpretive science so we stopped a number of times so the kids could look at the bed rock or pick up pieces of rock. You just can't stop a bunch of 8 year olds from picking up rocks!

We ended the day with a hike up to an outcrop of the Uncompaghre formation and a view across the valley of a pretty nice unconformity. Here the entire class is pointing towards the missing billion years of earth history.

We ended the day by telling the story that we heard from the rocks.


Yvonne said...

So great!

Robyn C said...

Hi Ed,

Nice summary of our wonderful educational adventure with you! Thanks again from all of us!!

GeoGirl said...

What an amazing way to open the minds of our youth to what surrounds them! I always thought 3rd grade was one of the best! I hope more teachers take cues and are able to get their students out into nature. Geology rocks!