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Lesson plan developed by Erin Cziraki This lesson is a combination/modification of “Sugar Rock Cycle” from http://www.scienceclass.net/Lessons/Geology/Rocks_Minerals/sugar_rock_cycle.pdf and “Rock Cycle Activity” from http://library.thinkquest.org/J002289/rcycleact.html.
Overview: This lesson is designed as a group activity in which students explore the steps of the rock cycle using simple, familiar materials. The students must also use what they know about sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks to describe their observations and identify the steps of the cycle. Inquiry Level: 2 Time Needed: One 75 minute class period. Standards: 8-1.7 Use appropriate safety procedures when conducting investigations. 8-3.4 Explain how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are interrelated in the rock cycle. Performance Objectives: The students will be able to: • explain the interrelationships of the three rock types • construct a cause-and-effect model about the forming of a rock based on the process(es) involved • interpret a rock cycle diagram • compare how rocks can be changed by a particular process • identify a rock type based on how it is formed Hook: Show the class pictures of coal and diamonds (found in power point presentation) and ask if anyone knows how they are related or where diamonds come from. Also ask if anyone thinks rocks can change over time and see if anyone has ideas about how. The next slide has pictures of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Have the students make observations about how the rocks are different from each other. This lab is designed to be written as an entry in a lab notebook or journal. The question for this activity is “Why are there different kinds of rocks on earth and how are these rocks related?” Body of Lesson Plan Concept Exploration: Materials: Goggles 2-4 Candles Matches or a lighter Box of crayons Crayon sharpener
The students can also be evaluated based on how well they follow the procedures given to them and safety procedures in the lab (especially wearing goggles while observing/working around a flame). Some of the blanks have been filled in to get the students started. It was designed for one class period. and the processes involved in the rock cycle relating back to the diamond question from the beginning of class. The sugar cubes melt much faster if there is only a single layer of foil instead of a double layer. Once they have finished copying the sheet. Note: the procedures can be modified based on the maturity and trustworthiness of the class. Print out the procedures page for each station and tape it to the lab table. highlight the text and change to black. Each slide either shows a rock with a description of how it was made or simply tells what kind of rock is shown. The teacher then spends time reviewing the different types of rocks. . then the procedures can be modified so the students do this at their lab station. Have the students copy the procedures into their lab books using their own words. To show to the class.Aluminum foil 4 Large books Sugar cubes Hand lens Pieces of paper 4 small aluminum pie pans Clothes pins. how they are formed. Concept Application: The teacher then shows the slides in “Rock Cycle Challenge”. Two will explore the rock cycle through the use of sugar cubes and two will explore the rock cycle through the use of crayon shavings. The procedures currently call for the teacher to handle lighting the candle and heating/melting the sugar and crayon wax. A list of procedures for each station is attached below. However. but in practice took a little bit longer. Have the students use their books to fill in the remaining blanks. if the teacher feels the students can safely handle this part. they will begin the activity. After they are finished. test tube clamp. Teacher notes: This activity worked really well for demonstrating the rock cycle. The answers are already entered in the blanks in white font. Evaluation/Assessment The teacher can have the students quietly write down there answers to the “Rock Cycle Challenge” in a sheet of paper to turn in for a grade. The third slide in the show is a blank rock cycle for the students to fill in. have them write an example of each step from the activity they just completed. The students then need to either identify the type of rock or the process that created the rock. Concept Introduction: Pass out a copy of the rock cycle diagram to each student (attached below). or other tool to hold a foil “boat” over a flame Four lab stations will be set up.
What do you think this represents? . What happened to the shavings? Write down your observations. Place the aluminum squares directly on top of each other. 12. What kind of rock do you think this represents? 10. 9.Place your foil packet in the pie pan and take it to your teacher at the candle station.Crayon Station Materials: Box of crayons Crayon sharpener 2 squares of aluminum foil (approximately 10cm by 10cm) Large book 1 small pie pan Procedures: 1. Place the packet on the floor and put the book on top of it. 4. Have someone stand on the book for about 1 minute. Be sure to put on the goggles when you get there!!! What happens to the shavings when they are heated over the candle? 11. Make sure to use different colors while making your pile. Fold the aluminum foil over the pile and make sure the shavings won’t fall out. Open the packet so you can see the shavings again. What do you see? What kind of rock do you think this represents? 13. Write down your observations.If they are not too hot. the teacher will place the packet back in the pie pan. Open the foil packet again so you can see the shavings.After the shavings have cooled. What kind of rock do you think this represents? 8. 7. Write down some observations about the pile of crayon shavings. 2. Use the crayon sharpener to create a pile of shavings of crayon wax in the middle of the foil squares. The pile should end up being about 3cm long. Have someone gently squeeze the foil packet. and 1cm thick. 6. try to break your shavings into pieces. 3cm wide. 3. How do you think this relates to rocks? 5. open the foil.After the shavings are heated. Fold the foil over the shavings again. DO NOT TOUCH it because it will be very hot! Cary the packet in the pan back to your lab station and observe the shavings as they cool.
Place one piece of paper on the floor and put the sugar cube in the center of the paper. Put the other piece of paper on top of the cube. 7. Use the hand lens to look at the sugar cube. Let the sugar cool all the way. DO NOT TOUCH it because it will be very hot! Carry your boat in the pie pan back to your lab station. Your teacher will put your boat back in the pie pan. 8. What do you see? 9. the better). Gently pour the sugar into a pile in the center of the foil. How does the broken-up sugar cube relate to rocks? 4.Sugar Cube Station Materials: 1 sugar cube Hand lens 2 pieces of paper 2 squares of aluminum foil (about 10cm by 10cm) Small pie pan Large book Procedures: 1. 5. Write down your observations. Write down what you observe. Use the book to break the cube into very small pieces (the smaller. Can you guess what process this might represent? 3. make sure you put on your goggles!! Watch the sugar as it is heated over the candle. Take the cooled sugar out of the foil and break it into pieces. 6. What process do you think this is? What would you need to do to turn the pieces back into a cube? . Watch the sugar as it cools. What is the sugar like now? What kind of rock do you think it represents? 10. Place the boat in the pie pan and carry it to your teacher at the candle station. What kind of rock do you think this represents? 2. When you get to the candle station. Put the squares of aluminum foil directly on top of each other. Carefully fold up the sides of the foil so you make a boat and the sugar won’t fall out.
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