Title of Unit: Rocks and Minerals

Author: Jonathan Robertson

Course: Earth Science

Grade Level: 9th


This unit is about rocks and minerals, their differences, similarities, makeup, and importance. It is important for students to have a general knowledge about rocks and minerals because of the importance they play in our daily lives, and their importance as a natural resource. Students will walk away with a general knowledge of what rocks and minerals are made of, their properties, and what they are used for. They will also be able to identify the majority of rocks in our area.

Unit Objectives (include 4 or 5):
  • Student will understand the differences between a rock and a mineral
  • Student will understand the differences between an igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock.
  • Student will be able to identify the most common minerals in Colorado.
  • Student will be able to identify the most common rocks in Colorado, and how they were made.
  • Student will be able to identify the economic importance of Colorado rocks and minerals.

Time Required: 2 weeks

Lesson 1

Title of Lesson: Rocks and Minerals

Description of Lesson: In this lesson, students will explore the differences between a rock and a mineral. First the students will use the teaching document to learn the difference between a rock and a mineral, then, in the learning document, the will use thier new knowledge to differentiate between rocks and minerals. in addition, the students will learn the state rock, mineral, and gemstone.

Assignment: Use in-class and take-home documents to learn the definition of rocks, and minerals, and their differences.

Resources/Materials Needed: These MS Word documents have pictures and sound embedded into them, so they can be opened at home through this wiki, and the full color and sound can be experienced on a computer at home, in the library, or anywhere in the world.
A Learning Document
A Teaching Document

Lesson 2

Title of Lesson: The Rock Cycle

Description of Lesson: In this lesson students will go on a scavenger hunt to discover the rock cycle. the scavenger hunt will take them to various destination on the web with goon information about the rockcycle. students will also learn the difference between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Finaly, they will indentify two locations in Colorado where each of the three types of rocks can be found.

Assignment: Go on the rock cycle scavenger hunt. After you have comleted the scavenger hunt, create a diagram of your own rock cycle, and identify two places in Colorado where you can find each of the three types of rock.

Resources/Materials Needed: Another media packed Word document which walks student through the rock cycle with sound and pictures, as well as links to web pages.

Lesson 3

Title of Lesson: Colorado Geology

Description of Lesson: In this collaborative lesson, groups of three students will investigate the three geological regions of colorado, the High Plains, Rocky Mountains, and the Colorado Plateau. A specific set of prompts and questions has been provided for each region, and each student will investigate those prompts and may also create his own. students will return to class prepared to have a discussion about the politics, economies, environmental concerns for each region.

Assignment: Break out in groups of three, and choose ONE of the three regions of Colorado to investigate. Be sure to follow the prompts given in the assignment page, and feel pree to come up with your own as well. Come prepared to have a class discussion, facilitated by me, on what you have learned.

Resources/Materials Needed: A collaborative assignment with embedded documents for each of the three group members. This is an incredible technology tool because all the assignments are together, but each can see the others of they want.

Lesson 4

Title of Lesson: Mid-unit Review

Description of Lesson: Students will navigate through a review slideshow to review for the mid-unit quiz. Students will review rocks and minerals, the rock cycle, and colorado geology. After they have finished the review they will play a quiz show game to reinforce what they have learned.

Assignment: Go through the review show, and come to class prepared for the quiz.

Resources/Materials Needed: An interactive review which can be done on any computer anywhere. there are games, songs, and a navigable review. All this would be impossible with paper.

Lesson 5

Title of Lesson: The Great Diamond Hoax

Description of Lesson: Students will listen to a Photostory about the Great Diamond Hoax which has rots in Colorado. This is a fun story, and great vacation idea.

Assignment: Listen to my story, and enjoy!

Resources/Materials Needed: A story told by me, with pictures to go along with it.

Lesson 6

Title of Lesson: Turkey Special

Description of Lesson: A three series podcast of how to prepare and cook turkey. During the Thanksgiving turkey sales, a buy around 10 turkey to freeze for consumption around the year. So I often tell my students about turkey cooking adventures. Since they have expressed great interest, I promised them I would teach them the basics on how to cook a turkey. So since Thanksgiving is approaching, I have created a podcast showing my prowed in turkey preparation.

Assignment: Make a turkey!

Resources/Materials Needed:
A turkey and...
1 - How to Roast a Turkey
2 - Turkey Three Ways
3 - Turkey: Deep Fried!

Lesson 7

Title of Lesson: Southwest Geology Tour

Description of Lesson: Students will go on a tour of neat geological sites around the American Southwest and Colorado. At some stops useful information is given, at others questions are asked. Students will be expected to know these geological sites for the exam.
Assignment: Go on the Google Earth tour and see how cool the geology is in the Southwest.

Resources/Materials Needed: Students are able to see geographical locations as well as photos of whats there... very cool!