Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Metamorphic Rock Stock" LAB

Today was our very last Geology class with our co-op, our metamorphic rocks lab.  This is bittersweet.  It's sweet because we have completed another successful co-op year (finishing two courses, both Geology and Georgia History) and have learned a lot.  And it's sweet because it's the hardest course I have ever planned and taught (having no true curriculum to use to guide me and having to adapt such heavy material to children as young as six) and it's over.  But yet it's bitter because we have really enjoyed this course and it is sad to see it end.  Though it was a challenge for me, there was real fruit in teaching it.  The children learned way more about the earth's crust than they knew when we started and I think they each developed a real appreciation for what they now see as more than "just a rock."  We are excited that are co-op continues in two weeks with a new course, however -- World Geography, which we will study in depth through the entire 2017-2018 school year!  (I will be making posts for this soon!)

So, to wrap up our Geology studies for you (you can find the ten course lessons and our two field trip posts at, here is the synopsis of today's lab and a look at our completed lapbooks.

In our last lesson (, we studied metamorphic rocks in depth.  This was our third and final rock type to study.  Today, to test our knowledge on these impressive rocks, we completed the "Metamorphic Rock Stock" Lab.  Here is the lab sheet that I created.
Each child was given a lab sheet along with a mystery rock (they rolled a dice to see which number mystery rock they would get), which included this sample of red marble ...
 ... green slate ...
 ... and schist.
They then went through the lab stations to answer questions to help them identify which of the mystery rocks they had.  The first station ("Color Counts!") required them to accurately draw and color their rock sample, and answer a question about whether or not their sample had a shiny luster.
Station #2 ("Grain Gain") required them to study the grains of their sample.  Were they coarse, like sand?  Smoother than sand, like silt?  Or maybe very smooth, like clay?
Here is Maggie, at Station #2.
Finally, at Station #3, they did the "Texture Test," determining if their sample was rough to the touch, or smooth, and whether or not their sample looked like it could flake easily.
 Once every child had been through the stations, they were given time to study the characteristics of the metamorphic rocks listed on the back window.  With these information sheets, and their lab sheets, they were able to then take a guess at which mystery rock they had.
Maggie correctly identified her sample as "schist."
 Once our lab was complete, it was time to finalize our lapbooks.  

I know I have shared elements of this lapbook with you in prior Geology posts, but I wanted to share the completed project with you in its entirety because it is such a treasure to have in celebration of all of our learning.  (Some of these great lapbook foldables were purchased for download.  For the ones you like, look at the links I have under my Geology tab at, and you can find them to download, too.)  Some of the great stickers you see were purchased through RedBubble (

Here is the front of Maggie's lapbook, decorated as she liked.
 When you open it, this is the first spread you see.
 We put information on minerals and the rock cycle in the first folder to the far left.
 Under the rock cycle sheet, we have all of her work during that time, including this field trip form from our field trip to Providence Canyon ("Little Grand Canyon").
 In the second folder, we have more on minerals and also the information we collected about igneous rocks.
 There are so many great things we learned and did.  This is another field trip form, from our field trip to Flat Rock Park to see the monadnocks with the igneous intrusions.
 Mags' igneous rock narrative!
 Her "Mineral Mash-up" Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting two, separate minerals.
The third folder in our lapbook holds all of our information about sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
 Here is her sedimentary rock comic strip!
 And her "Sedimentary Sandwich" project sheet!
 Her limestone rubbing!
There are so many memories from this year in this one, little lapbook!  I know we will treasure it for a long, long time.

"All done and it feels good!"
Thank you for joining us on our Geology journey!  It has been a fun ride!

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