As all the students flooded into the classroom and started to unpack, the teacher, Mrs.Bentley, said, “Today you are going on a mini field trip to a park with Mrs.Crystal, who studies rocks and minerals! What you’re about to learn is a surprise!” The students cheered, wondering why they were going there. They gladly followed Mrs.Crystal out of the room and to the park nearby. Mrs. Crystal asked, “Do you know what inside a volcano?” Many hands shot up. She pointed to a girl. “Magma, and when it spews out it is called lava.” Mrs.Crystal exclaimed, “Yes! That is correct! It flows down, burning everything in its path. Over a week or so, it cools down and hardens, because on the surface of Earth, it is much cooler than the inside of the Earth, which is over 1000 degrees! It turns so hard it becomes a kind of rock…. Jess.. what is it?” Jess said, “An…. igneous rock?” “Fantastic!” The igneous rock is basically a lump of cooled, hardened lava.”
Reaching into her bag, she pulled out 10 round igneous rocks. All students crowded around. She scooped them back up, and said, “That’s not the end of it! The igneous rocks gets broken down by erosion and weathering such as wind, rain, and ice, turning them into sediments! These sediments are usually found near water sources. Some of them even have fossils in them due to dead animals that sink to the lake/ocean/sea/river floor, and other sediments pile on top of it and more and more and more…. so the fossil and all the sediments and the occasional fossil are compacted and cemented.” Mrs.Crystal ended her speech. “Class, what is the rock called?” Several voices rang out, “Sedimentary!” Mrs.Crystal smiled, and the pupils knew they were right. This time, instead of showing them rocks, she brought out of her bag a granola bar, a plastic bowl, a tube of sticky glue, and a bottle of water.
She announced, “Who wants to be my helper? A hand shot up. Indigo smiled shyly as the teacher beckoned to her to be her helper. “Break apart the granola bar,” she instructed, “then put lots of glue on the bottom of the plastic bowl. Indigo did as told. “Sprinkle the pieces of granola bar into the glue. Soon, the glue hardened. Mrs. Cyrstal began,”The glue represents the sand/rocks on the bottom of the lake/ocean/sea/river. The parts of granola bar are the sediments that float in and land at the bottom of the water source.”Mrs.Crystal gently peeled off the granola bar and proclaimed, “Which turns into a sedimentary rock!” The students applauded, clearly entertained. She then threw the materials away. “Come along,” she said, “and let’s talk about how metamorphic rock is formed. When a rock is buried beneath miles of rock , the rock is subjected to massive amounts of heat and pressure, so the rock twists, recrystallizes and re-orients itself into a new metamorphic rock.
It takes millions of years for a rock to be slowly buried and slowly turned into metamorphic rock!” A student gasped. Wow! That is the coolest thing ever!” The other students nodded. Jn a couple of minutes they arrived at Mrs.Crystal’s laboratory.“We are in my laboratory. Now, you can look around while I explain how metamorphic rock is turned into magma.” “So then the cycle is started all over again?” a student piped up. Mrs.Crystal nodded. “A metamorphic rock is pushed down deeper and deeper and deeper into the Earth’s layers , until it gets so hot, it starts to melt. Until, it is nothing more than a glob of steaming lava. And the cycle starts all over again.” The pupils applauded. She said, “I have a project for you,” , handing out sheets of paper, “and on the paper you will see a chart containing the 3 types of rocks and their characteristics.
Each of you will partner up with another person and together, get a bag, you’ll would find out what type of rocks these are.” She layed out bags full of rock. The students started to chatter excitedly. “I had a fantastic time teacher you guys!” Mrs.Crystal said. “I’ll come again to check your work and give you a test. Good luck with your project, and have a great day!” She waved as one by one the pupils went out of the door. “Thank you Mrs. Crystal !” they chorused. She waved back to them. When they were gone, Mrs.Crystal said to herself,”Soon, I”ll have a lot of papers to check! “ She chuckled. “Wait a second………. I forgot where I put my answer key!” she thought. In the meantime, she made herself a cup of tea, and went looking for her answer key.
Courtney from Study Moose
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