Ride the Rock Cycle – Comic Strip Adventure

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Materials:

  • Rock Cycle Comic Strip Lesson Plan (link – pdf) or ScienceSpot.net or NSTA
    • Note there is a typo with the numbering on the handout – it should be numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 in case you want to make corrections prior to photocopying it
  • Laminated Station Cards
    • Stations as Google Slides – public
    • Rock Cycle Comic Stations (pdf)
    • For 2016-2017 I updated some of the stations to have more variety in the outcomes and introduce some higher level concepts for my 6th graders to lead into our unit on Plate Tectonics
  • Dice: 2-4 at each station
  • Pencils
  • Colored Pencils

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Tips for running the lesson:

  • Use this lesson after introducing the Rock Cycle to students.
  • Having 2-4 dice at each location allows multiple students to be at each station at the same time. In the past when I used the paper dice that come with the lesson, it took time for each student to write down the outcome from the dice. Having the outcomes on the station cards helps speed things up.
  • Set up stations around the room, depending on the number of students you have, you can make multiple stations for each one.
    • For example, for the Soil Station or the Earth’s Crust & Interior Station, you can have more than one of each to spread students out around the room. They get a lot of traffic.
  • If students get ‘stuck’ at a station, explain that they can be stuck in the Earth’s Interior for millions of years and their whole comic would be just that one station, but allow them to ‘roll out’ of a station if they are there for a 3rd time.
    • For example – A student will end up at the Soil Station and roll “Sediments Being Formed Remain Here” and write that on their handout. Then they will roll “Sediments Being Formed Remain Here” again, and write it down. If on the 3rd turn they roll “Rocks Break Down, Remain Here” have them roll again until they get something different. They may then get “Flooding Occurs, Go to River” and write that down and go to the River Station. They may end up back at the Soil Station on a later turn, but that is OK. They will visit some stations more than others.
  • Once students are done with their journey, check over their work and then have them start their comic strip. They might need some tips on how to draw certain geological processes.
  • I have used this lesson for many years and the students really enjoy making their comics and come away with a better understanding of how rocks change over time.
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What is Mining? An introduction to Mining

Materials:

  • Google Slides (Public) – this presentation will outline what mining is, where it occurs, types of mines, what commodities are mined in the United States, and covers mining in New Jersey. Maps are from the CDC
  • What is mining?  (pdf) – this is a guided handout that students will take notes on as we discuss mining

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining Simulation

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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?

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

 

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.