Unit plan

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					Introduction: The following unit plan will cover the rock cycle and common rock-
forming minerals.

I.    Analyze Learners

        The following unit plan is directed towards a regular ninth grade science class
(CATS 9). Students of this grade are approximately 14 or 15 years old. Students should
have a basic understanding of the layers of the Earth (to understand solidification of
magma), laboratory safety, and Internet use, as well as the ability to follow instructions
(both verbal and written). Students should be able to work in small groups chosen by the
teacher. In depth understanding is not expected of students because it is their first year in
the secondary school.

II.   State Objectives

           SC.9.2.4 properly and safely manipulate equipment, materials, chemicals,
                     organisms and models.

           SC.9.4.29 employ a variety of tests to identify common rock-forming

           SC.9.4.30 analyze and describe common rock samples using grain size and
                      shape, and mineral composition.

           RLA.9.3.1 understand, communicate, and follow complex directions

           TEC.9-12.5.1 use a variety of strategies to acquire information from
                     electronic resources.

           SC.9.3.2 apply evidence from models to make predictions about interactions
                     and changes in systems.

III. Select Media and Material

        Materials Needed for Unit:
               computers with internet access
               rock samples
               mineral samples
               streak plates
               glass plates
               copper pennies
               steel nails
               dice
                poster board
                markers
                lab worksheets

        Four websites that will be used during the unit plan:
               - Rock Cycle game; an activity for
                       teachers to illustrate time frames of various parts of the rock cycle.
                       Students roll a dice to see whether they stay at their station
                       (sediment, metamorphic rock, etc) or move on to the next station.
                       Time frames are listed at the station and students are to explain
                       why they are at each station for the period of time that they are.
                       Good activity to keep kids interested and promote critical thinking.
                       /es0602page02.cfm - Interactive Rock Cycle Animation; this site
                       would be excellent for students and provides an interactive look at
                       each process in the rock cycle. The animation goes step by step
                       and may help students visualize some of the more complicated
                       aspects such as cementation of sediments or how foliation forms in
                       metamorphic rocks.
               - Earth Science Part 2: The Rock
                       Cycle; Gives an excellent overview of the rock cycle with multiple
                       flow charts. There are charts that summarize the information given
                       and provide examples of each rock type. More advanced students
                       and teachers can gain a deeper knowledge of each classification of
                       rock by clicking on the links. This site could be accessed by
                       students as a reference for their rock cycle drawing.
               - Mineral Matters:
                       How To Identify Minerals; a site that provides a look at each
                       aspect of mineral Identification. This site provides a thorough
                       explanation of each test but is still at a level that students can
                       understand. This would be good information to disperse to students
                       before performing the mineral identification lab.
               - Rocks and Minerals
                       activity; Students will use this website to fill out the worksheet
                       with information about each of the minerals. This will be graded
                       and used as an assessment tool after the mineral and rock lab.

IV. Utilize Media and Materials

        The unit will be introduced to the students and open with an activity. Focus will
be on the rock cycle, the different types of rock involved in the rock cycle, and mineral
identification. Lecture will include visual aids, whether PowerPoint or overhead
transparencies, and students will be expected to take notes. A brief review of the previous
day’s material will start off each class period, which is 90 minutes long (block
scheduling). The day by day activities are as followed:
Day 1:   Students will be introduced to the rock cycle and the three major
         classifications of rocks. A diagram of the cycle will be shown and students
         should draw it in their notes for future reference. Students will then be put
         into pairs, upon which they will play the Rock Cycle game. The worksheet
         that accompanies the activity is to be saved and turned in after all rock
         types have been discussed in class, so that students can use information
         from class to critically look at how long each rock takes to form.

Day 2:   We will start off by talking about the Rock Cycle game completed on day
         1. Igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks will then be covered in depth. In
         depth discussion will include formation, time frame of formation, where
         they occur, etc. Topics that will be covered under formation will include
         differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic cooling, crystal size, heat,
         and pressure. “Metamorphic” rice crispy treats will be available for the
         students to snack on.

Day 3:   The lesson will start with a brief review of igneous and metamorphic
         rocks. Sedimentary rocks will be covered in depth. Time required for
         formation, the process of formation, and location will be examined.
         Formation topics include weathering, erosion, deposition, compaction, and
         cementation. Students will be taught that the size of sediments can tell
         how the rock formed (large, small, round or angular and their relationship
         to deposition). Students will have to make connections between
         sedimentary rock processes and igneous and metamorphic rocks,
         completing the understanding of the rock cycle.

Day 4:   Students should have an in depth understanding of the rock cycle and will
         be expected to demonstrate that understanding. Students will work in
         small groups to make a poster of the rock cycle, including examples of the
         different rock types. These posters will be presented to the rest of the class
         and graded on accuracy, creativity, and understanding.

Day 5:   An introduction will be made to minerals. Students will see that minerals
         make up the rocks that they just learned about. Common minerals in
         igneous and sedimentary rocks will be discussed. Properties used to
         identify minerals will also be reviewed in depth. These properties include
         color, hardness, streak, luster, cleavage, fracture, and specific gravity.

Day 6:   Students will use their understanding of mineral properties to identify
         boxes of minerals. They will examine hardness, streak, color, luster,
         cleavage/fracture, and specific gravity and use their data to try to identify
         minerals. Rocks will also need identification. Igneous, metamorphic, and
         various kinds of sedimentary rocks will be provided.

Day 7:   Students will review concepts covered the past six days by participating in
         an internet search activity. Students are given pictures of minerals and
               some physical properties. They must figure out what the mineral is, record
               other information about the mineral, and then group similar minerals

     Day 8:    Due to the sheer number of minerals provided on the website, students
               will be given a second day to complete their internet search. If students
               finish early, they can work on an extra credit mineral and rock word

V.   Required Learner Participation

        In order to keep students interested in the topic, days of lecture will be followed
closely with a day of hands-on activity. During lecture days, PowerPoint presentations or
overhead transparencies will be used to keep the students visually stimulated and assist
with note taking. Questions are welcomed and hopefully students will participate in
discussions about the cycle or rock types. A game is planned during the first day to get
students interested in the topic. A lab on mineral identification will allow hands-on
manipulation. Students that enjoy working on computers will like the mineral
identification activity on the internet. This range of activities should be enough to
encompass at least one interest of the students.

VI. Evaluate and Revise

         Students will be evaluated periodically through the unit. A worksheet will
accompany the Rock Cycle Dice game, which will be turned in after all of the rock types
have been discussed in class. This will show students’ ability to analyze and predict how
long it takes to change from one form to another. The posters drawn in small groups will
be graded for accuracy to check student understanding. Lab reports will be handed in
after the mineral lab. Mineral identification can be tricky, so points will not be deducted
if their data supports their conclusion and they demonstrate an understanding of the
properties they tested (color, streak, luster, etc.). Safety and ability to follow directions
will contribute to their lab grade. Evaluation will also look at a student’s ability to
recover facts from the internet and come from the completed internet activity sheet.

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