Rocks are all around us!
We walk on them, we build with them we use them for making glass and jewellery. They can be light or heavy, they can be old or new--ish! And one thing for sure is that they are fun to find out about!
So let's do it, let's research rocks in our 'rock theme'!
There are loads of lovely books you can dip into for your rock theme. If you like to titillate the kids interest and start your theme with a story book as I like to do, a good one to look at is
'Everybody needs a rock' by Byrd Baylor.
Its a fabulous book which gives the reader 10 things to look for when selecting the perfect rock. Read it and then go out and let the kids find a their very own perfect pet rock and begin your rock theme
This is a great way to start your topic on rocks.
Having read the book above to your kids and discussed what sort of rock would make a good pet rock as the book suggests go on a rock hunt.
I suggest you ask the kids to find more than one perfect rock just in case they want to add to the 'family' later on!
Once back in the classroom let the children look at each others rocks. They might like to describe what their rock is like and why they chose that particular one. And don't forget to take a picture of it before you start to decorate it so you have a before and after image. You will find that there are so many different sorts of rocks and with older children you might like to allow them to find out what kind of rock they have.
Now the fun bit!
Give the kids paint, wool ,feathers googly eyes, beads and anything else you have in the cupboard together with some some strong glue and let them loose!
Don't forget to give it a great name!
They could make a home for their rock too and if they get really into the theme they could make their own 'rock carry bag!'
Challenge them to think of a simple method of making a pet rock carrier bag. Plan it. Draw it. Then make it!
Pet rocks really do not like being home alone!
If your pet rock is to go places with you, it will need a passport.
Create a short form that you can give out to the kids which includes the rock's name, date of birth, place of birth and a picture showing what it looks like. They could use a photo for this if they prefer.
The form, when complete can be stuck onto the inside of a folded piece of card to make a passport. They could list all the places their rock has visited inside and illustrate the cover.
Take the kids on a rock walk. See how many different sorts of rocks you can find around the school. Make a list of them [or take photos] and note down what each one is being used for.
Are they all the same if not how are they different?
How do they think rocks are made?
Questions like this can open up a whole new slant on your rock theme. You can go off on a tangent and include Volcanoes [a wonderful topic for older kids] or get involved in a Soil Theme. But for this page I'm going to stick to rocks and the fun things you can do while learning about them!
So let's rock on with our rock theme!
This activity will need a collection of different sized rocks and pebbles as well as a variety of containers made of different materials and ideally of different sizes.
Start by making sure they have their listening ears on and ask one of the children to pick a container and a rock and drop it into their chosen vessel. The rest of the class listen and think of some words to express what sort of sound it made. The pea pebbles dropped into a metal can sounded like rain, one of my class told me!
After a few goes at this, allow them all to experiment with different rocks and ask them to chose which one they liked the best and why.
Then they can make their own rock instruments by adding a lid to their container Experiment with the shakers, playing them quietly and gradually getting louder. Put some words to their music and when perfected, give a live performance to their friends! They might need a name for their rock band too!
Name an activity that not only nurtures the creativity of your children but also involves scientific,engineering and maths skills. And ssh, one they enjoy doing too!
Yes, it's Rock Stacking or Rock Balancing!
Not only is it fun and challenging for all ages but it involves a great deal of eye/hand co-ordination as well as engineering skills Young children will not realise at first that they must start with a solid flat base and gradually use smaller and smaller stones to make the perfect tower.
Sooner or later they learn the best kind of stones to use [sorting] and perhaps older children may bring colour into their stacks to make a pattern [maths] Then there will be the challenge of making their tower higher each time so they have to count the number of stones they have used. [maths]
Language too, comes into the activity. They will discuss the shape, size, weight and colour of the stones as well as the height of their finished tower!
So a simple task with an enormous potential for learning!
Give it a try! Why not?
This was a real rock theme hit with the kids.!
We stacked 2 or 3 bricks on top of one another and laid a piece of thick card or cardboard at an angle to create a slope.
Then we stuck a piece of white paper onto the card and put some newspaper at the bottom to protect the floor.
Next we squirted some brightly coloured paint into 3 or 4 bowls, collected a few round rocks [different sizes if possible] and hey presto we were ready!
Dip a rock, one at a time, into the paint [warning: painty fingers alert!] and allow it to roll from top to bottom. Continue doing this until you have the perfect rock and roll art piece.
You just may want to do another --------- and ----- another!
Psst! Makes a great wall display.
Malteser Rocky Road Cakes
You can't do a rock theme without making some Rock Cakes!
BUT these are no ORDINARY rock cakes these are --------
METAMORPHIC ROCK CAKES!
So get cooking! Free downloads too.
Have a go at the other recipes too. Just click on the recipe you want to download and bingo a freebie!
Have a go at these other recipes too!
Igneous rock, one of the 3 main types of rocks, is formed when magma or lava from the centre of the earth is forced to the surface in the form of a volcano. It cools and solidifies. This is a very simplified explanation and if you have older children you could challenge them to find out more about igneous rocks and how they are formed.
But if you have younger children in your class they will love this activity and hopefully it will help them to understand how igneous rocks are formed.
To make your erupting volcano you will need:
1. A tube of toothpaste
2. An empty yogurt container or similar
3. Some soil or dirt [not wet ]
4. A tool for cutting a hole in the container
Here's what you do:
First make a small hole in the bottom of your yogurt pot.
Then put the toothpaste nozzle through the hole and fill the pot 2/3 s full of soil.
Then gently squeeze the tube and watch the toothpaste force its way through the soil just like a volcano!
BUT if you think that a bit tame for your kids try this more dramatic experiment.
This is how you do it
Fill a yogurt pot 2/3 s full of water.
Add 3-4 tbsp of baking powder and
1 tsp washing -up liquid
Add some washable red paint [ a good squirt]
Now build a mountain around your cup out of gravel or sand or soil and at the last minute, when everybody is watching ----
ADD THE VINEGAR 1 cupful
Stand back and WATCH!
I do hope you've found some fun rock theme activities to do with your kids.
Thank you for looking and perhaps you would like to try another great teaching theme from the list at the top of the page. See you soon!