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Webquest on the Rock Cycle to Assign to Elementary Students

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 6/6/2012

This WebQuest provides an opportunity for elementary students to build on their understanding of the rock cycle. The steps are all laid out ready to use in your classroom.

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    800px-I35W Collapse - CG Assists NTSB Investigators (4) 

    We’ve got a new mystery to solve, detectives. But this is no ordinary puzzling scenario, because your targets are not big on talking. In fact, you will not be able to interrogate them at all. They also don’t display emotions, nor do they move in such suspicious manner. But the good thing about them is that they are immobile; thus, observing their features will never be a problem. Your mystery targets are nonetheless The Rock Group. Do plenty of research, study how they form, and anticipate their further developments. I have supplied you with an ample supply of resources so you can go about this task. Are you ready to roll? Then let’s rock and roll, team!

    TASK

    In the duration of the investigation process, you are expected to accomplish the following:

    1. Familiarize yourself with the history, progress and development of rocks;

    2. Gather different types of rocks after taking a tour in your garden, or at a local park;

    3. Keep a Rock Journal to record the types of rock you gathered and to describe every single detail about them;

    4. Make a Power Point presentation of the product of your research (photos of the types of rock, rock cycle diagram, and other valuable graphics relevant to the topic) so you have visual support when you present your findings to the team;

    5. Create a miniature rock garden that is made up of all the types of rock. This will be kept in the office gallery for exhibit - a tangible product of your research and observation on the subject. You may come up with a Japanese Zen rock garden or a terrarium in a glass box.

    800px-Anyoin02 1024 RESOURCES

    There are two ways to gather pieces of information about rocks. You may choose one among the list, but I strongly recommend that you make use of all the resources so you will be well-equipped in carrying out your mission.

    Pathway 1: Visit a local Science museum or the Science section of the library to gather visual ideas and information about how rocks are formed. Study carefully the rock exhibits and periodicals that are available in the said locations. Record in your Rock Journal particular items that you think are essential in your study.

    Pathway 2: Check out various websites relevant to the subject of your study. Here are several sites that you may visit:800px-Balanced Rock 

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    The Research Process

    800px-BinghamtonUniversity Classroom STEP 1: I suggest that you work by three’s so that you can maximize the brief amount of time allotted in this mission. You may assign roles to each member:

    • Researcher - consults the various websites that are relevant to the topic
    • Recorder - takes down notes and keeps track of the tasks to accomplish
    • Collector - gathers tangible materials necessary for further observation and study

    Always collaborate with each group member in carrying out your research.

    STEP 2: Begin with your research. Although it is the main job of the researcher, everyone in the group must work together in looking at the websites found in the resources area. Print pictures of each type of rock and paste them in your Rock Journal. Take down pertinent notes about the description of each type of rock, where they can be found, and how they were formed.800px-Woman-typing-on-laptop 

    800px-SF Japanese Garden STEP 3: Walk around your garden, the local park, or in plant nurseries. Notice the rocks that you might find on the ground. Analyze and compare them to the pictures of the types of rock that you placed in your notebook. Do not forget to bring a small bag on your trip so you can place the rocks inside it.

    STEP 4: Make a Power Point presentation of your findings and research. Be sure to include a photograph of the places where you got those rocks. Provide a brief description of each rock, as well as the diagram of the rock cycle.

    STEP 5: Using the rocks that you gathered in your trips, make a miniature rock garden. You may place them in a small shallow box (like a Japanese Zen rock garden) or in a small rectangular aquarium (as a terrarium). You may include additional decorative items.

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    Evaluation

    It is important to familiarize yourself with the criteria on how you will be graded and evaluated so you will be guided in making the tasks stipulated here.

    You will be evaluated in three ways:

    1. Power Point Presentation

    CRITERIA:

    A. Content (10 points) - must have all the pertinent information about the types of rock (description, formation process, examples, location)

    B. Creativity (6 points) - the font, color, and background design complement each other

    C. Organization (4 points) - the ideas and items were logically arranged and presented.

    2. Miniature Rock Garden

    A. Content (8 points) - the rock garden must have all the types of rock

    B. Creativity (7 points) - the arrangement and decorative items used are appealing 800px-Shitennoj honbo garden06s3200 

    C. Quality (5 points) - the container and other items used are durable and will not easily fall apart.

    3. A Short Quiz on The Rock Cycle

    A short quiz will be given to you to check how much you understood the topic. Be sure to recall the description of each type, where they may commonly be found, and examples of each type.

    Guide questions in studying for the topic:

    a. What are the different types of rocks? Describe each.

    b. Give examples for each type of rock.

    c. How were the rocks formed?

    CONCLUSION

    Well done, team! You have uncovered the mystery on rock cycle. By adhering to the tasks and making use of the listing of resources, you were able to gain a deeper understanding on the beginnings of the Rock Group. Hopefully, you will be able to keep this information in your mind for future undertakings on the same subject - but a new topic.

References

  • Rock Cycle Facts: http://library.thinkquest.org/J002289/cycle.html?tqskip=1&tqskip1=1&tqtime=0901
  • The Rock Cycle: http://geography.about.com/cs/physicalgeography1/a/rockcycle.htm