If there’s one factor my children by no means get uninterested in studying about – it’s rocks. We had a lot enjoyable learning sedimentary rocks final week! I like how a lot pleasure can come from such a easy factor of nature.
Right here’s a rundown of our lesson on sedimentary rocks and the books and sources we used:
How Sedimentary Rocks Type
We started the lesson with this coloring web page from The Rocks and Minerals Journal, which explains how erosion and weathering trigger sediment to maneuver, settle and ultimately compact and kind sedimentary rock. We adopted this up with a hands-on experiment, which you’ll be able to learn extra about under.
Investigating Rock Samples
Subsequent got here the boys’ favourite half – experimenting with their rock samples. For this, we used sedimentary rocks we’ve collected from nature hikes, in addition to this rock package, which accommodates 5 totally different sedimentary rock samples.
(Our sediment rock flash playing cards have been additionally very helpful for this a part of the lesson.)
First, they carried out a permeability check to see if their rock samples have been permeable or impermeable. Utilizing a pipette, they squeezed a drop of water onto every pattern. Apparently, virtually all of their sedimentary samples have been permeable (the water soaked in).
Subsequent got here the scratch check. For this, they used their fingernails, a carpentry nail and sandpaper to check the hardness of their samples. We mentioned what number of sedimentary rocks are mushy, and a few are even crumbly. A sandpaper block was an attention-grabbing approach to see the colour of every rock because it was scratched.
Lastly, they carried out the acid check. Since I clearly don’t let my children play with actual acid, we used vinegar – which isn’t robust sufficient to dissolve rocks, however it may present a really satisfying fizz. The boys actually cherished dropping every pattern into the vinegar and seeing which of them produced bubbles.
We found a potential fossil in our limestone pattern, as one whitish space of the pattern was producing a considerable amount of bubbles! (The calcium carbonate within the fossils make some sedimentary rocks fizz after they are available in contact with the vinegar.)
Making a Sediment Jar
After all, it wouldn’t be a correct science lesson with out an experiment!
How you can make a sediment jar:
You will want:
- A big glass or plastic jar with a lid
- A big handful of sand
- Giant handful of gravel
- Giant handful of pebbles or small rocks
Set your jar on a flat floor. Pour the sand into the underside of the jar, adopted by the gravel, then lastly pour within the small rocks. Fill the jar virtually to the highest with water. Screw the lid on as tightly as you’ll be able to (safe it with duct tape in case your lid isn’t tight).
Shake the jar properly, then place again on to the floor. Observe what occurs because the layers settle. You must see the lighter, finer sediments forming on the highest layer – that is referred to as the “fining up” sequence and is a geologic strategy of how sedimentary rocks kind over time. You may additionally discover silt within the water, which is able to ultimately settle.
This additionally led to a dialogue of the place sedimentary rocks sometimes kind – in water!
Extra Sedimentary Rock Experiments
We didn’t have time to do extra experiments, however listed below are some that look enjoyable to attempt:
Sedimentary Rock Books
We used two books for this unit of examine:
This one isn’t particular to sedimentary rocks, but it surely’s an amazing guide in regards to the totally different layers of rock under the Earth’s floor.
Sedimentary rocks kind the center and high layers of Grand Canyon. This was an amazing guide for my older kiddo to study how this huge canyon was shaped.
For a complete examine into all issues rocks, take a look at my new Rocks + Minerals Journal!
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