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Roger Weller, geology instructor

wellerr@cochise.edu

Geology Lessons
by Gayle Sueskind
Physical Geology
Fall 2012
 
  

Geology Lessons for K-12
 

     Teaching geology to elementary students might sound like a scary and boring task.  You don’t have to be so apprehensive about it.  There are so many resources out there for you to find activities.  The United States Geology website has a whole section on education.  There are biology, geology, geography, and water projects.  A fun topic that can be discussed is dinosaurs. 
 

     Another educational source is the Geological Society of America.  This website has tons of cool topics and projects.  One of those being Edible Rocks, in this lab students learn about meteorites.  Students are given “rock” samples to identify.  These samples are common candy bars or sweet treats.  Students have to describe the sample without using food terms.  The students are relating the meteorite vocabulary words to things that they are familiar with in their daily life.
 

Description: http://teachers.egfi-k12.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/379393main_chocolate-226.jpg

 

     A cool project for middle or high school students is to make toothpaste.  Again students can relate this lab to their everyday lives.  The students use minerals to make the toothpaste.  To make toothpaste combine calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate in a plastic cup and add water to form a paste.  Students can add flavor and color if they so desire.  You can also have the students compare the homemade toothpaste with a commercial one to see how if there is a difference. 

 

     A big part of our world is water.  So there are plenty of projects that deal with water and what it does.  One project is to build a water filtration system.  This can be done using a 2 liter soda bottle and swamp water and rocks and sand. 
 

 Description: Sand Filter

 

     So now that you have read these projects, there is no reason to think that geology is boring.  Yes it will sometimes be messy but there is a lesson in the messiness.  Geology is a fun and educational at the same time.  As you can see geology is not just about rocks. 


References 

http://education.usgs.gov/

http://www.geosociety.org/educate/LessonPlans/i_rocks.htm

http://www.hometrainingtools.com/water-filtration-science-project/a/1803/eid/SEN1203A/

http://www.hometrainingtools.com/water-filtration-science-project/a/1803/eid/SEN1203A/