Monday, July 11, 2011

Edible Rocks!

Ok-so we have to teach about the three kinds of rocks. Previously when I taught third grade, edible rocks were a hit. I will defintely do this again this year. You should give it a try too.

Metamorphic Rock Pancakes

OBJECTIVE: After this lesson the students will be able to identify the properties of a metamorphic rock.

MATERIALS: Griddle/electric skillet, spatula, oil, pancake batter, plates and napkins, walnuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows, raisins, etc. (We even use strawberries and blueberries too!)

ACTIVITY: Be sure to tell your kids that they will be eating rocks at the end of this unit!! After they have learned about how metamorphic rocks are made, examined several examples of metamorphic rocks, and talked about the rock cycle - I tell them that they won't want to miss this lesson because we will be making our own metamorphic rocks and eating them.
          Depending on the age, either the students or myself make the "rocks". Pour the pancake batter on the griddle and be sure to add some raisins, chocolate chips, walnuts, or marshmallows to the batter. By doing this, the children will get to see how heat is a factor in the metamorphic process. They will get to see how different "materials" melt or do not melt from the heat.

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: After the demonstration, each child should have his/her own "rock" to eat. They should also be able to identify the metamorphic properties. To quiz them, a brief questionnaire type of paper can be passed out. Usually after this lesson, no one forgets how metamorphic rocks are made!

Here is are other quick easy ways to make sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks-- I found this from Betsy. She listed this in a post years ago at ProTeacher. I luckily hung on to it. Can not wait to use this for the upcoming school year.

1. Igneous Rock - melt chocolate chips in a crockpot, give each student a spoonful of the igneous rock on a sheet of wax paper and let cool (we let ours cool all day so it was completely hardened)

2. Sedimentary Rock - (completed in groups of four) press a tube of sugar cookie dough into an alluminum baking pan and layer with various toppings such as chocolate chips, different types of sprinkles, nuts, etc. (I had a parent donate the aluminum pans that come with a lid. This made it super easy to carry the pans home, bake, and return to school the next day.)

3. Metamorphic Rock - I gave each student a quarter of wheat bread and a quarter of white bread. They used rolling pins (pressure) and their hands (heat) to create the metaphoric rock. (I had peanut butter and jelly to eat with the "metamorphic rock" afterwards.)

The students made so many scientific connections during this investigation that I wish I had written down some of their comments. One group of students commented on how their metamorphic rock (bread) was crumbling around the edges and breaking apart. We connected this to nature and what causes rocks to break apart and travel through the rock cycle.

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  1. I've been doing edible rocks since I've been teaching first grade. The sedimentary rock has always been the hardest rock to make edible (no pun intended). I will have to try the cookie dough recipe. Thanks for that. We used different colored gumdrops to make the metamorphic rocks.

    We also study soil when we study rocks. The students get rocks (cookies)in Ziplock bags. We go through the process of how rocks are formed while students press and smash the cookies. We make Dirt Cups. I give an informal quiz so the students can earn their shovel (spoon). I make sure each student earns a shovel.

    The students will always remember how the magma cooled and hardened and then we ate it. ;)

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  3. This is super cute! I also use peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for sedimentary rocks. The kids love it!