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Meredith Green

Lesson Title: Washing Rocks (Foss Kit)
Subject/Grade Level/Date: Science, 1st grade, March 1st
Time Requirement: 1 hour
Materials List: bags of rocks for each student, plastic cups, hand
lenses, paper towels, basin, pitcher, water
Type of Lesson: Whole class
Content Standards:
1-S5-C1 Classify objects and materials by their observable properties
1-S6-C1 Identify the basic properties of earth material
ELP Standards:
II-L-2, B-HI-3 Use grade specific academic vocabulary and symbols
within context.
II-LS-1, B-HI-7 Respond to academic discussions by sharing one’s view
on facts, ideas, and/or events using academic vocabulary.
Instructional Objective
Students will classify rocks based on their properties by writing
observations about them.
Language Objective
Students will use academic vocabulary to describe the properties of
Students will share their ideas using academic vocabulary with a
partner and with the class.
Active Instructional Plan:
1. Have students come to the carpet and sit in a circle.
2. Hand out the rocks and the lenses.
3. Talk about the objective, introducing the hard words – classify,
properties, and observations.

4. Ask students what we observed about these different rocks last
time. Then explain that today we are going to observe what
happens to them when we put them in water. Ask for any
5. Describe the procedure for putting the rocks in water: 1. Put only
one rock at a time in the water. 2. Observe the rock carefully
(talk about what observe means) 3. Remove rock from the water
and place it on a paper towel
6. Give an example without actual water. Talk about the sort of
things that we might look for. Show students that we are going to
add some describing words in our notebooks.
7. Choose two students who are very responsible to hand out the
8. Go over how we work in partners. Choose pairs of students and
have them go sit somewhere in the room with their rock journal.
9. Have students draw a line and write “with water” on their list of
observations. Remind them what each kind of rock is.
Have students pass out all of the materials.
Allow students to start washing rocks, walking around and
telling them to write what they are observing.
When everyone is finished, have students lay their rocks
out on the paper towel, and have the two helpers pour the water
into the sink and pick everything else up.
Have other students come to the carpet, with their rock
journals, and share the ideas they wrote. Add to my own journal
on the document camera.
Add the names of the rocks to the word wall and add the
word “geologist.” Talk about how, just like in our objective,
classified them by their properties.
Have students go back and put their rocks into the bags
and collect the bags.
Anticipatory Set
 Talk about what
we did with
rocks last time.
 Have students
predict what
they think might
happen when
they put the
rocks in water.

Teacher Action
 Give directions
about soaking
the rock and
give an
 Choose
 Question
students about
what they are
 Facilitate

Student Action
 Carry out the
investigation –
putting rocks in
the water and
making notes
about what they
 Share their
with their
 Share their

about what
students saw.

with the class.
Provide words to
go on our word

Closure: Students will share what they observed about the different
kinds of rocks with the class, and will explain to me what classify,
observe, and properties mean. We will then add to our word wall all of
the vocabulary that we have learned so far.
(Note: This is actually more of a miniature closure. The students will
write more about our observations on Thursday, and then we will close
the entirety of the lesson by adding to our “what we have learned”
Assessment/Evaluation: As the students are working on their
investigation in partners, I will be walking around and asking students
informally to tell me what they are observing. Students will also have
the chance to share on the carpet, which again will be an informal
assessment of student understanding.
Modification/Differentiation: Because this assignment is hands on,
it will be easier for ELL students to work with. However, I will be sure to
check on their understanding more frequently and will try to pair them
with a Spanish speaking partner, just in case. When we make our word
wall, the names of the rocks will be matched with pictures to make
sure that every student understands which rocks we are talking about.
Lower readers and writers will also be paired with students that read or
write at a higher level so that they can be assisted in writing their
As I walk around the room, I will also be able to provide support to
students based on individual needs.