Five for Fr...aturday: Exciting Earth Science!

Our first science unit has been on Earth Science - and we've had a blast "digging" into the Earth to see what it's made of. As an overview, I shared this book with my kiddos:
It gives a great overview of everything we cover in the unit: 
*The Layers of the Earth
*Types of Rocks
*The Rock Cycle
*Gemstones
*Minerals

Here are some of the activities we did during the unit:
1. Layers of the Earth video
To reinforce the different layers of the Earth, I show them this awesome song. It's one that will get stuck in your students' heads for days - hopefully until quiz day :)
2. Types of Rocks
Then, we discussed rocks and the three different types of rock: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. We watched this fun video from Scholastic's Study Jams:
We watched the video, sang the song, and then took the quiz
My dear friend, Rose, from Rosie's Rambles, told me about this song
3. Layers of the Earth Packet
Then I used different activities from this fun and engaging packet of graphic organizers to assess their understanding and retention:
4. Salt Crystal Experiment:
My blogging buddy, Joanne, from "Head Over Heels for Teaching" 
Head Over Heels for Teaching
shared an awesome idea of doing fun science experiments with her students each Friday - she even has lab coats for her kiddos and a "mad scientist" costume for herself! What a fun way to engage them :) I thought of her as we conducted a week-long experiment, dealing with rocks and minerals:
"Salty Crystals"
We mixed rock salt into boiling water and then poured the salt-water into two separate bowls of pebbles. 
 
We labeled each bowl and then placed one in a dark, cool place and the other in a warm, light place. We made predictions (read: hypothesis introduction) as to where the crystals would grow faster and then observed the bowls every day for a week. At the end of the week, here were our results:

The students were shocked - most of them thought the crystals would grow better in the warm, light area. It was a great introduction to the scientific process, the acceptance of failed hypotheses, and it got them excited about future experiments :)
5. Rock Candy
What better way to end our unit than by enjoying some homemade Rock Candy?!?

YUM!

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