Third graders become geologists as they investigate the rocks and minerals in their environment, discover the stages of the rock cycle, examine the layers of the earth, and consider the effects of weathering and erosion on the earth’s surface. Students conduct fieldwork at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, where they go on a scavenger hunt in the Mineral Hall after practicing how to identify common minerals by conducting scientific tests of color, luster, streak, hardness, magnetism, and other properties. For a final product, each student chooses a mineral to research and creates a trading card, featuring a scientifically accurate illustration and informational text highlighting the mineral’s important properties.
Grade Level: 3
Subjects: Earth Science, ELA, Visual Art
What stories do rocks tell?
What is the rock cycle?
How can we discover and describe the physical properties of rocks and minerals?