Stories in Stone
Written by Kevin Cuff, with Cary I.
Sneider, Lincoln Bergman, Alan Gould, and JohnMichael Seltzer
Ah, if rock walls could talk; and in
a way, they can. The essence of much of life and geologic history
is embedded in the Earth's crust and in forms of stone we encounter
Stories in Stone is an earth-science
unit that deepens understanding of the processes that lead to
the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
This is not a field guide (although it recommends some); Stories
in Stone helps students demystify the dramatic, inexorable
processes that cycle through the visible and hidden geology
of our planet.
Working with sets of ten samples, groups
of students learn the distinction between rocks and minerals,
classify the samples, and attempt to identify "mystery
rocks." They observe formation of salt crystals and make
models of crystal shapes. An experiment using salol crystals
at different temperatures models processes in the formation
of igneous rocks. Unique clay modeling activities with geological
narratives provide students with "hands-on" insight
into the rock cycle and plate tectonics.
This unit requires a sample of real rocks and minerals for each
student group; it is designed around common, readily available
samples, and recommendations are included for where to purchase
them. Once in hand, these sets can be used class after class,
or shared among teachers.
The GEMS guide, Plate Tectonics,
is a seismic companion to this unit.
Comment on this GEMS unit.