Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining Simulation

cookiemining
Cookie Mining – with an example of cookies used for the activity.

Materials:

This is one of my favorite activities from our minerals and mining unit. It takes about 1 whole class period to explain the activity, collect data, eat the cookie (& crumbs), and clean up. We discuss our results the next class and determine who made the most profit.

When determining the value of the chocolate ore, I have the students place their chocolate pieces close together in one area of the map. When they are done, I go around and circle the area of chocolate and give their chocolate a rating. They count the number of boxes their chocolate covers and enter it into their spreadsheet.

If there are crumbs attached to the chocolate, I call that ‘slag’ and it lowers the value of the chocolate ore. This leads to a great discussion afterwards when we compare the profits and talk about land use. Is it better to get out as much chocolate as you can, even if you get a lot of slag, or is it better to remove just the chocolate even though you will have less in the end? How is this similar to coal mining? Diamond mining?

cookiemining2
Students try different techniques to extract the chocolate.
cookiemining3
Cookie blasting – extracting as much chocolate as you can in 5 minutes.

 

Real Time Earthquake Data Mapping Activity

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Image Source: USGS

Essential Questions:

  • Where do earthquakes occur?
  • How are earthquakes recorded and measured?
  • What is the relationship between earthquake location and magnitude?
  • How do earthquakes impact humans and the environment?

Materials:

  • Internet Access & USGS Earthquake Data
    • this link is set to the following settings: 30 days, 2.5+ magnitude, terrain, and no plate boundaries
  • Google Sheets Template – one per table top map
    • Earthquake Data Mapping Activity (Public Template)
      • to edit this spreadsheet, make a copy for each map, then share editing rights with each group of students who will be working on that map
        • if you don’t use Google Drive, you can download the Google Sheet as an Excel spreadsheet
      • ex: Map A data is shared with 4 students from period 1, 4 students from period 2, 4 students from period 3, 4 students from period 4, and 4 students from period 5. When done, they will have 200 EQs plotted and color coded on the table top map.
  • Colored pencils or markers per map
  • 1 Table sized map per lab group (3-6 students) – printed and assembled
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Sampling of student data from different regions of the world

Procedures:

  1. Assemble one table map and materials per lab group.
  2. Show students how to use and navigate the USGS website, find EQ data, and how to record their data on the Google Spreadsheets.
  3. Assign each group a map and 1-2 regions of the world. They will collect 25 data points for each region. They can choose any EQs over a magnitude of 3.0 for their region(s).
  4. Once they have all of their data, they will plot the EQs onto the table map. The magnitude of the EQ is the color they will plot onto the map.
    1. ex. Magnitude of 7.5 will be a purple dot
  5. Students will analyze their data and look for patterns
    1. What regions of the world have EQs?
    2. What regions of the world had more EQs? Less?
    3. What regions of the world had lower magnitude EQs? Higher?
    4. Why are EQs located where they are?
    5. etc…
  6. After this activity, I introduced Plate Tectonics and we discussed the relationship between EQs and tectonic plates.

 

Minerals in your house

Mineralogy 4 Kids - Minerals in your house
Mineralogy 4 Kids – Minerals in your house

Materials:

  • Website: Mineralogy4Kids (link) – a great website that provides students with a wealth of information on minerals.
  • Handout: Minerals in your house (pdf)

I like to use the Minerals in Your House page to introduce minerals to my students and have them explore the different ways we use minerals in our everyday life. In this post I am including an updated worksheet for students to take notes while they view the website.

Photographs by Lewis Hine – Child Labor in America

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Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. Source: Library of Congress. Photo by Lewis Hine

Updated August 2016

As part our Mining and Minerals unit, we discuss the impact of obtaining natural resources and their effects on the environment. We look back at the Second Industrial Revolution and the impact it had not only on the environment, but on society as well. Children were working in mines, factories, and farms under dangerous conditions. Because they were working long hours in order to earn money for their families, they were not able to attend school. We then discuss the factors that lead to child labor, do they still exist today? Unfortunately, child labor still exists in many countries for the same reasons it did at the start of the 20th century, when Lewis Hine took these photographs.

Lewis Hine Photography – Child Labor

Purpose

  • To analyze primary sources (photographs) related to child labor
  • To learn how Lewis Hine brought awareness to the issue of child labor
  • To explore the factors that contributed to child labor
  • To write a piece of historical fiction inspired by one of Lewis Hine’s photographs

Resources

Google Slides

  • Students will select 1-2 photographs for their assigned category
  • Students will analyze each photograph using the Photo Analysis Sheet
  • Each group will create one presentation containing their slides and photographs
  • Groups will share their presentations & story excerpts with the class

Subject: Coal Mining  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis+hine+%2B+mine&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child (if 3 people in group, combine topic with Student 4)
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of boys and men mining
  • Student 4 – pictures of buildings, machinery, tools, or animals at the mine

Photographs by Lewis Hine - Examples 2016

“I miss Poland and my old life there. I went to school and learned to read and write. I could even struggle through a few English words. After school, I would race down the dusty gravel road to my small yard. My father built a tree house out of scrap wood he brought back from the shop. We hung a tire swing from it. My dad would push me everyday, I miss him so much.”

Subject: Factory Workers or Urban Setting  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis%20hine%20%2B%20factory&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child (if 3 people in group, combine topic with Student 4)
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of adults and children working side by side
  • Student 4 – pictures of buildings, industrial settings,  & machinery

Photographs by Lewis Hine - Examples 2016 (1)

“… ‘Am I payin’ you too much?! Because I can change that.’

‘No sir, we are working.’

‘OK good, because I ain’t be wastin’ my time on hirin’ someone new’…”

Subject: Farm Labor or Food Industry http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=lewis%20hine%20%2B%20farm&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a solitary child (if 3 people in group, combine topic with Student 4)
  • Student 2 – pictures of groups of children
  • Student 3 – pictures of adults and children working side by side
  • Student 4 – pictures of buildings, machinery, & farm animals

Photographs by Lewis Hine - Examples 2016 (2)

“It gets darker and darker every day, but we are holding up. Sometimes I wish that we never left Ireland. It was so much easier there. Ah,well…thinking about everything back home will only make me sad.”

Subject: Family Life http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=family&co=nclc&st=gallery

  • Student 1 – pictures of a siblings working together
  • Student 2 – pictures of a child/siblings working with parent(s)
  • Student 3 – pictures of families at home
  • Student 4 – pictures of families working in a factory, farming, or using machinery

Photographs by Lewis Hine - Examples 2016 (3).jpg

“Day 5: Family. I am the youngest of nine children. We are all one year apart. In 1918 we sailed over from Italy.”

Extension

Students will write a journal entry or personal letter (¾ to 1 page) based on one of the photographs they have chosen. They will share their stories along with the photograph they chose for their slide. Samples of writing above are from the Class of 2017.