IMG_00563rd grade has moved on to a rocks and mineral study.  I started out by introducing the difference between rocks and minerals from my mentor text Big Box of Awesome Rocks by Robin Merril.  She goes into talking about the differences, how rocks are made, different properties of rocks and minerals, different kinds of rocks, and experiments you can do with rocks and minerals.

IMG_0051Most recently we experimented with two rocks: geodes and magnetite.  Our first experiment was to mimic the properties of geodes by putting colored salt water into cleaned egg shells.

The 3rd graders had to use the pipette to put the solution into their egg shells.  While they waited for their turn, they had to journal about what they thought their geode would like by the end of the week.  How would it change?  How would it look?  What would be left?

They were full of excitement and it was hard to get them to journal because they were so excited watching their classmates fill up their egg shells.  We will check up on the progress each day and journal how the eggs have changed over the week.

IMG_0053Next we moved on to magnetic properties in rocks.  We talked about what kinds of things they thought were magnetic.  None of them believed a rock was magnetic.  I pulled out one of my “magnet sculptures” you can manipulate little metal pieces on a big magnet and had the kids touch the magnetite to the pieces.  They could manipulate the little metal pieces with the magnetite rock.

3rd graders were then asked to journal about what was surprising to them about the properties of magnetite.

We have a few more experiments left to do and I’ll update you as we go along!