Mineral Cube Project

Mineral Cubes hanging in my classroom:

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Sample of slides of information for Wavelite by Isabella:

 

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This activity has become a yearly tradition and I leave the mineral cubes hanging in my classroom from May of one year to the following May, then return it them in 7th grade.

Materials:

Sample of a completed cube with information cut out and cube assembled and decorated:

 

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Famous Scientists “Wanted Poster” Using Google Draw

Wanted Poster Sample- Jacques Cousteau.jpg
Sample Wanted Poster

This is one of my favorite projects of the year and using Google Draw allowed the students to work on it both in class and at home. In the past, we used a software program to design the posters, but it had a lot of restrictions as to when and where they could work on their posters. By using Google Draw, students were also able to share their posters with me and I could proofread it much more easily and offer suggestions.

We hold a scientist ‘draft pick’ when making our selections. Students come up with a list of their ‘top 10’ scientists and each student draws a number. I select a number randomly and whoever has that number gets to choose first. Once a scientist has been chosen, no one else is allowed to pick that person. Sometimes students choose to spin the “Wheel of Science” when they are not sure who to pick and will allow the wheel to pick for them.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Google Draw to design your poster – Print in color on 8 ½ x 11 paper
  2. First, middle, and last name of your scientist
  3. Picture of your scientist
  4. His/her birthday (Month, Day, Year if available)
  5. ONE sentence of why they are famous or “wanted”  
    • This sentence has to be approved
  6. Country he/she was born in
  7. Where he/she did their work – was it at their home, at a school, a lab, etc
  8. Date of death or current age if living today
  9. Summarize His/Her accomplishments in your own words:
    • One paragraph using 3 – 5 complete sentences
  10. Your name in the bottom RIGHT corner of your poster
  11. List of your sources used for information, pictures, etc on a separate Google Doc.

Choose up to 4 of the following requirements to add to your poster:

  1. A quote by your scientist
  2. 1 – 2 additional pictures of your scientist
  3. A picture of what they worked on
  4. Where they went to school/college
  5. If they had any other jobs
  6. Family information: husband/wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters
  7. What else was happening in history when this scientist was famous
  8. Did this scientist work with another scientist?
    • Who was it and what did they do?
  9. Are there any museums or other places that are named after your scientist? Where is it?

Added 12/26/16: I first posted this lesson in 2000 (as Liz Belasic) here is a version from 2002 with  additional details

Rocks ROCK! Identification Stations

Research & Note taking
Rock Identification: Research and note taking

Materials:

  • At least 4 samples for each of the following 12 rocks:
    • Igneous Rocks: Pumice, Obsidian, Basalt, & Granite
    • Sedimentary Rocks: Sandstone, Limestone, Conglomerate, & Coal
    • Metamorphic Rocks: Slate, Gneiss, Hornfels, & Marble
  • Rocks, Gems, and Minerals Guide – classroom set
  • Google SlidesTypes of Rocks (Public) (UPDATED) 10/26/17
  • Handouts for note-taking
    • Types of Rocks (pdf)
    • Igneous (pdf)
    • Sedimentary (pdf)
    • Metamorphic (pdf)
  • Flashcards – print out and glue onto index cards (pdf)
    • each student made their own set to keep
  • Index cards with rock IDs on them
    • 1 set per lab table
  • Paper plates
    • 12 plates with rock IDs
    • additional plates: 1 set per table if not using index cards

rocks_id_2

Students will learn to identify & categorize 12 common rocks samples during this multi-day lesson. To introduce the unit, students are given the foundation of how rocks form and the three types of rocks: Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary.

rocks_id_3

Working with a partner and/or in small groups, they will research, handle, and compare the rock specimens and take careful notes at the different stations. Once their research is done, they will practice identifying the rock samples by creating and teaching each other different games using the rocks samples.

rocks_plate_id_game

Some games the students played are:

  • Sort the rocks into 3 piles: I, S, or M, who can do it the fastest?
  • Rock races
    • 2 students are given 6 rocks each to find and sort from the pile of 12
    • can you find it? Name a rock and pick it from the pile
  • Match the rock samples to the name of the rock
  • Mis-match some of the rocks with their ID cards, can you figure out which ones are incorrect?
  • Rock Quiz – creating questions from the index cards
    • examples:
      • Which rock is the only intrusive igneous rock?
      • Which rock floats on water?
      • Which one used to be limestone?

rocks_id_indexcards_2

For more lessons related to Rocks & Minerals, be sure to visit my Earth Science Page (link).

rocks_id_indexcards_1

Exploring the Solar System – Past, Present, and Future Missions

Image Source: NASA
Image Source: NASA

After taking an in-depth look at missions to Mars (blog entry) and learning more about the planets in the solar system (blog entry), we learned about past, present, and future unmanned space missions and their mission objectives.

Materials

  • Desktops/Laptops and Internet Access
  • JPL Missions Website (link)
  • Mission Assignments using Google Sheets Template (public link)
  • Mission Information using Google Slides Presentation Template (public link)
  • Sample slides from one of my 6th grade groups (pdf)

Each group of students created a shared Google Slides Presentation, and within each group, students were assigned 4-6 numbered slides with specific missions (public link). This was a great way for the students to learn about different missions, practice their research, tech, and collaboration skills, and to get a better understanding of the history of unmanned space missions.

When students were done with their slides, the next class involved a fun game of “Name that Mission” (girls vs boys). Using slides that the students created, I pulled a total of 20 or so slides from different groups and classes and added animations to them. If they could name the mission without clues (just an image of the spacecraft) they earned 2 points, if they named the mission with clues, they earned 1 point.

Below is a video about DAWN – the mission will be arriving at Ceres this week (March 6th) narrated by Leonard Nimoy. LLAP.