I am about to wrap up the second week of school with my kids. From the first day, I reinvented my usual first two weeks of school lessons to get rid of the introductory science process skills lessons and replaced them with inquiry based lessons surrounded by the content (geology – classifying rocks by their formation). I did not totally ignore important scientific skills like lab safety, I just incorporated it into the geology content I was teaching.
Well, I am about to wrap up this “lesson”, and I am so excited about the success. Today, my kids were looking at clues, deciding if it was about igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rocks, and then helping me put our notes together. They then took their clues and notes, looked at rock samples, and determined what type of rock each one is. They totally get this material because they have discovered it. At no point have I stood in front of my class and lectured. All I did was give instructions and occasional guidance. I think my kids have really seen not only how rocks are classified but also how to solve problems and work together. Tomorrow, I hope to wrap this all up with the final identification of our rocks.
It’s been a multi-week process because of integrating the additional science process skills that we needed as well as setting up our web portfolios in the computer lab. The lessons would probably take about 4-5 days without this information added throughout.
I’m attaching the handouts, clues, keys, and the lesson plan in case you’d like to use it. Please feel free to modify in any way you like. I just ask that you do leave attribution to me as the original author. Please let me know if you have any questions about the lesson.
Now, to create another inquiry based lesson about the rock cycle!