Inspired by the rocks we found down at the wetland last week and the fact that they remain constant despite all of the weather conditions Spring brought to us (rain, wind, snow, and sun), we explored the world of rocks this week.
We started by talking about what we know about rocks: that some are harder than others, they come in many shapes and colors, and even that some are volcanic. We read a story called Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough by Natalie M. Rosinsky, which introduced the three types of rocks. We learned that there are Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary rocks. We observed examples of each type of rock and talked about how they are similar and different. We found that sedimentary rocks are the easiest to break. We then made our own Sedimentary rocks using sand and sugar water. In each of our rocks we hid some treasure. Unfortunately, our rocks were not ready this week but we will get a chance to see what they are like next week!
We journeyed down to the new stream area off the road to see what types of rocks we could find. We found many different types and used a rock identification book to figure out what some of them are. We found a bunch of conglomerate rocks, which is a type of sedimentary rock. We were also able to play in the mud created by the recent rain!
We started the second day with a campfire to warm up since the mornings have been so chilly. We helped Mr. Travis build the fire using our knowledge that fires need fuel, oxygen and heat to burn. We then ate snack around the fire and roasted marshmallows to make S’mores. While enjoying our treats, we read a story called Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor. This story has 10 rules to follow when picking out your special rock. After listening to the author’s suggestions, we headed out to find our own special rocks. Some of us even smelled the rocks, like the author suggested, to try and figure out how old the rock was and where it came from. We added paint to some of our special rocks, while others we left their natural color.
We also did a couple of Erosion experiments to try to understand what happens to rocks and water when it rains. We made a mountain out of mud and sand, and using spray bottles created a small rainstorm. We observed that the rainstorm caused the mountain to begin to erode and disappear. The water travelled down the sides of the mountain and picked up dirt along the way. We then tried pouring water on the mountain to create a flood and watched as the mountain quickly eroded away and the water, now very dirty, travelled off the mountain to the ‘ocean’. We did a second erosion experiment in which we colored a piece of paper, crumpled it up to make peaks and valleys, sprayed water on it, and observed what happened. We watched as the water travelled from the peaks down the valleys and into little lakes, before spilling off the paper into the ocean. We noticed that along the way, the water picked up the color from the marker and we imagined what it would be like if all of the color was actually pollution. It was a good reminder, especially with earth day coming up, to take care of the land around us!