In Science we will soon be talking about Natural Resources. Part of that unit study will include rocks. My class last year really inspired the inner geologist in me so much that I have been on the hunt for a good rock kit or collection ever since. Last year I borrowed a rock collection and the collection was seriously lacking. I wanted to be able to either purchase a good collection or make a rock collection myself. I have settled on creating my own kit. My rock collection was selected based on my State Standards and the objective that I teach. While I was preparing the kit, I also had the activities that we would be doing in mind. I am still looking for other rocks to add to the collection but this is a much better start than a sample of 30 playground rocks... I did not necessarily want all polished and pretty rocks but I did need rocks of different colors other than brown.
I purchased the rocks at a gift shop. I have since heard that they can be found at the zoo and amusement parks. They also can be purchased through school specialty companies but they are expensive. I thought this year I would just try and make my own instead of paying for some rocks I did not need. I found the rock box at either Wal Mart or Hobby Lobby this summer for around ten dollars but you can use a Hobby Lobby coupon to get this container at a great price. I knew I needed a container that had at least 22 compartments so that I could fill it with enough rocks for each child in my class to have one rock. I got the rock information guide at the gift shop where I purchased my rocks. I took a photo of the rocks in the container and have put it with the kit. My students do not need to know what type of rock each rock is but often they ask. If I were working with older students I would make labels for each rock with the proper name.
Last year when I was preparing to present the rock unit in my area my science specialist "AKA Science Fairy Godmother Donna" suggested a the book Roxaboxen to go along with our unit.
I love this story so much and for so many reasons but for me I speaks to me about childhood and growing up and remembering your own childhood. I have to admit, I get a little chocked up at the end. As I was looking around on the internet I found an article about the book. I think The Silverware Thief sums it up better than I could, so if you are interested you can read that here.
This book is such a classic. And the kids are going to tell you the illustrations maybe are a little creepy... Did I say this one was a classic? You just have to have it. And when you finish reading it everybody gets a rock. And they keep it. You just can't have a unit on rocks without this book. One of my favorite college professors read us this book and gave us each a rock. I still have the rock Dr. Marshall. I still have it!