One of the best things about the end of the school year is that I feel like I can vary from our normal routine. And, honestly, the kids love it.
We read this book (picked up from a library book sale), which is pretty good. It's written with a very primary story- a bear family going on a hike- but the information is good, and the pictures of rocks are good. Plus, my class cracked up at the rock puns.
Then, we got the rocks out. Almost all of them are ones I just picked up outside a few years ago (but a couple have been given to me by students). While I did let them sort by sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic, first I just wanted them to sort by different qualities.
We sorted by color, luster, hardness, weight, size, shape, and an attribute of their choice. Then, we circled around and took a guess of what each group might have sorted by. Of course, we tried to identify them as what type of rock they were- but some were hard to tell, so I mostly focused on them being able to justify their answers.
And the teamwork required- ohhhh, it was interesting. Most of my groups made me so proud- really using the things I've taught them to solve conflict and make decisions... and one person had to sit out for a little while. But most of them were great!
Kids will start to notice even the plainest of rocks. You should have seen all the rocks they showed me on field day!
I love when something we learn about makes them think outside of school, especially right before summer break. We only have FOUR days left of my first year in my own classroom!