Thursday, September 8, 2016


"Collect Rocks Day" is September 16th, but rocks are everywhere every day. Rocks can be a perfect spark for scientific investigations if you add a little STEAM. When you collect rocks or look at rocks, explain that scientists who study rocks are called geologists. Remind the children that they can be geologists, too!
Take a nature walk and invite each child to pick up ONE rock. You might need to limit the size to a rock that will fit in their hand. Take the rocks to the classroom and ask the children to observe their rock for one minute without talking. Go around the room and ask each child to make one statement about their rock. Encourage them to use descriptive words.

*Ask older children to write descriptions about their rocks.

*Place the rocks in a basket. Gently shake the rocks and then pass the basket around the class to see if each child can find his rock.

*Let the children sort the rocks. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way?

*Check out a book on rocks from the library. Place it in the science center along with a magnifying glass. Ask the children to do research and identify the different rocks they collected. (Remind the children to return the rocks to nature after they have finished investigating them.)

*Are rocks older than you or younger than you?

*Make a list of all the things that rocks are used for. 

*Have children make a design and build something with rocks.

*Let children paint rocks or use other art media to make paperweights.

*Place rocks in the math center for children to explore with the balance scale.

*For homework, ask families to take a walk and look for different kinds of rocks in their neighborhood.

*Encourage children to start their own rock collection with this idea. Cut an egg crate in half. Attach a pipe cleaner handle and use it to collect little rocks and pebbles.