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Rocks Makin' Rocks: Rock Cycle Simulation Lesson Overview

Students will participate in a simulation model of the rock cycle. Collecting data by throwing die, students will develop an understanding of the movement of atoms and rock particles through the rock cycle.


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45 Minutes
Individually or in pairs
PTI Inquiry
1.3, 3.1, 3.7, 4.2, 4.3, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 7.2, 7.3
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 5 min 4.2, 5.8, 7.3 none 1 Begin by recalling prior knowledge of the rock cycle by drawing what they remember.
Explore 20 min 1.3, 3.1, 3.7, 4.3, 5.3, 5.8 Countdown timer app 3 Students collect data about their journey through the rock cycle stations.
Explain 10 min 4.2, 4.3, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 7.2, 7.3 none 2 Students answer questions based on their journey through the rock cycle. Students work in small teams to draw a graphic that represents their journey
Expand 5 min 7.3 none 2 Students can choose one of the following: write an essay from the view point of a rock particle as it moves through the rock cycle or rewrite the lyrics of a popular song to include primary concepts about the rock cycle.
Evaluate 5 min - none 1 Blackline Master #3.

Level of Student Engagement
1     Low     Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction
2     Medium     Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance
3     High     Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered

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