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Grade: Middle
Subject: Science

#4176. Rocks

Science, level: Middle
Posted Sat Apr 12 15:15:10 PDT 2008 by J Wong (J Wong).
High School in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA
Materials Required: Different types of coal samples
Activity Time: 50 minutes
Concepts Taught: Rock cycle

Lesson Title: Rocks
Result Focus: There are many types of rocks and coal is one of them. Coal is a good choice to use to help students understand the concept of the rock cycle. Different types of coal represent different parts of the rock cycle.
Essential Questions Appropriate to this lesson:
1. Why is coal considered to be a rock?
2. What are the different types of coal and what are their characteristics?
3. How is coal used in various countries?
4. What are the problems associated with coal mining and the burning of coal?
5. How do we, as consumers of coal, help eliminate those environmental and health related problems of coal

Academic Content Standards Addressed
Earth Science 3c:
Students know how to explain the properties of rocks based on the physical and chemical composition which they formed, including plate tectonic processes

Unit Knowledge and Skills Objectives:
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. compare and contrast the characteristics of the various types of coal
2. analyze the rock cycle based on the types of coal.
3. correctly identify the color and texture of the types of coal.
4. identify environmental and health related issues of coal.
5. reflect on how to limit coal use and therefore limit the number of environmental and health related problems

Assessment Strategies:
Formative assessment -- observe whether students are engaged and on tasks, observe how students interact when working in groups, evaluate students' verbal responses to questions

Connect to prior knowledge:
Are you a coal consumer? If yes, in what ways?
How is coal used in your home country?
What are the problems associated with the burning of coal?

Class time allocation:
Warm up -- 5 minutes
Group work on different types of coal -- 15 minutes
Identify types of rocks/rock cycle -- 10 minutes
Instruction on types of coal/uses/health related problems -- 15 minutes
Reflection/closure -- What can you do to help alleviate the problems associated with the use of coal? - 5 minutes

Discovery approach to help students learn that coal represents different types of rocks. First, warm up exercise, group work as differentiated instruction, followed by discussion and instruction about pros and cons of coal use.

At the end of period, students submit charts showing their knowledge of the rock cycle using the different types of coal samples.

Post a question -- What can you do to decrease environmental and health related problems associated with the use of coal?
Independent practice -- write about the problems
with using coal in your home country

How did the group activity help students understand the types of rocks?
How did the pictures in the power point presentation help bring across the problems and possible health related hazards of mining and burning coal?
Did the question and closure help students apply their knowledge to their lives?

Next Step:
More detailed information on rock cycle.
Encourage students to conserve electricity
Integrate how different types of rocks relate to one another through the rock cycle