Rocks and Minerals Activities for Upper Elementary
Rocks and minerals activities in Science can get messy but they provide valuable learning experiences for students. However, when you pair your students’ experiment knowledge with ELA you create a powerful duo of Science and comprehension.
Today, I’m sharing 3 ways you can integrate rocks and minerals activities into your upper elementary classroom.
1. Rocks and Minerals Reading Passages
Integrate ELA with your rocks and minerals activities using passages that will teach them to read with a purpose and answer questions that help with comprehension. How do you know they are comprehending the passage? Especially with all the Scientific lingo? You can assess them using Google Forms or a paper assessment.
As students read these rocks and minerals passage you can go back during ELA time and teach them about main idea and details. Students can use their passages and colored pencils to highlight the main idea in one color and the details in a second color. Do the first passage as a class and as time goes on, allow students to complete the passages by themselves.
Another great way to use these passages is to have students underline where they found the answer to the question. So many times, students are inclined to rush through reading the passages and answering the questions.
Have students slow down and underline where they found the answer in the text and number it based on the question number (put a #1 next to the underlined answer for number 1) allows them to show evidence of their thinking. Also, this is great test prep!
2. Demonstrate Understanding Through Writing
Bringing in writing helps students express their knowledge creatively. For example, I use a graphic organizer and prompt to have students write to a geologist and share with them what they’ve learned about how different rocks types are formed. This activity is a great way to finish a rocks and minerals unit to assess students’ understanding of the content.
You can also teach the writing process and have students write a really polished piece of writing that they can use for a portfolio or parent teacher conference.
3. Digital Activities
Follow up your rocks and minerals reading passages with an interactive Google Classroom activity. Students have a chance to show what they know and you don’t have to make any copies! Score!
Therefore, using Google Classroom activities also allows students to see the activities in full color! For example, determining the kind of rocks from a black and white copy my be difficult for some students to differentiate. These full color interactive slides are a great way to engage students.
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