Category Archives: Living Science Books

Special Study – Rocks

Every stone detective needs these things to work with:

  • A knife or a steel file for scratching the stones,
  • A piece of glass to make scratches on – get a piece with smooth edges so that you won’t cut your fingers,
  • A magnifying glass or hand lens for examining the stones closely,
  • An ordinary copper penny,
  • A piece of white tile – the kind that is used on bathroom walls or the kind that is put under hot dishes on the table,
  • A small bottle of plain fizzy soda water (or ginger ale or any soda pop will do)
  • A hammer for breaking your rocks open – possibly one with a flat end and a sharp end,
  • A rock chisel – not a wood chisel,
  • A sample of minerals and/or rocks

-From The First Book of Stones by M. B. Cormack

Where to look for books in your library: J 552 primarily

Books:
Rocks and Soil: Real Size Science by Rebecca Rissman (IP, PB, gr. P-1, 24 p.)
How a Rock Came to be in a Fence on a Road Near a Town by Hy Ruchlis (28 p.)
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst (IP, PB, gr. P-3, 32 p.)
Let’s Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans (IP, LRFO 2)
If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian (IP, PB, gr. P-4, 32 p.) *love it
A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston (IP, PB, gr. K-5, 40 p.)
The Big Rock by Bruce Hiscock (IP, PB, gr. 4-6, 32 p.)
Quartz by Zim (gr. upper elem, MS & HS)
A First Look at Rocks by Millicent Selsam (32 p.)
True Book of Rocks and Minerals by Illa Podendorf (48 p.)
The Story of Rocks by Dorothy Edwards Shuttlesworth (56 p.)
The Rock Book by Carroll Lane Fenton (432 p.)

Field Guide:
Rocks, Fossils & Arrowheads (Take Along Guides) by Laura Evert (IP, PB, gr. 4-7, 48 p.) *Nice introductory field guide for young children.
A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Frederick H. Pough

Teacher background: HoNS*
Rocks and Minerals: p. 743-744
Rocks: p. 744-750

Object Lessons, choose from the following:
First Book of Stones by Maribelle Cormack (with activities)
Science Book of Rocks by George Ten Broeck (with activities)
HoNS Lesson 209, Igneous Rocks: Granite, p. 747
HoNS Lesson 210, Calcite, Limestone, and Marble, p. 749
Break Your Own Geode *Is a geode a rock or a mineral?
Rock and Mineral Playing Cards
1) look for rocks 2) identify them 3) diagram and describe them in your nature journal 4) collect them

SPECIFIC STATE BOOKS

Under Ohio: The Story of Ohio’s Rocks and Fossils by Charles Ferguson Barker (IP, PB, gr. 4+, 56 p.)
Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan’s Rocks and Fossils by Charles Ferguson Barker (IP, PB, gr. 3+, 56 p.)
Under New England: The Story of New England’s Rocks and Fossils by Charles Ferguson Barker (IP, PB, gr. 2+, 72 p.)



*Note: HoNS = Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock

**Note: When you are studying “earth science” you will encounter more explanations of the evolutionary theory than when you are studying botany or elephants, for example. Older books have less inclusion of this perspective usually. My guiding line is that they not mock or attack the young earth view point. We can have a conversation about “millions of years”.

The following resources might be useful:

Creation.com – Engineer Goes Back to School: Don Batten chats with geologist Dr Tas Walker (Flood model solves geological puzzles)
Answers In Genesis – Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating (video)
Dr. Ron Carlson – Origins (video, covers carbon dating)
  Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 1
  Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 2



Related:
Natural History Rotation
Natural History: Implementing Special Studies (full explanation)
Implementing Special Studies – An Outline

Special Study – Soil and Soil Conservation

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth. – Rachel Carson

Where to look for books in your library: J 552 primarily

 

SOILS

Books:
Jump into Science: Dirt by Steve Tomecek (IP, PB, gr. p-3, 32 p.)
The Dirt Book by Eva Knox Evans (83 p.)
How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World by Faith McNulty (IP, g. P-3, 32 p.)
The World Beneath Our Feet: The Story of Soil by Martin L. Keen (MS, 96 p.)
The Soil that Feeds Us by Eleanor B. Heady (62 p.)

Teacher background from HoNS:
The Soil, p. 760-766

Object lessons:
HoNS Lesson 216, The Soil, p. 763 (3 experiments)
Layers of Soil Activity (This takes 2-3 days to fully settle.)
Estimating Soil Texture: Sand, Silt or Clayey? (MS or HS)
Look at various soils under a handlens or microscope

 

SOIL CONSERVATION

Books:
Rocks Rivers, and the Changing Earth by Herman and Nina Schneider (particularly chapters 1-2, IP, gr. 3-8, 192 p.)
Life in a Bucket of Soil by Alvin Silverstein (IP, gr. 3-8, object lessons included, 96 p.)
Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang (IP, PB, gr. 3+, 48 p.)
Erosion by Joshua Rutten (gr. 2+, 32 p.)

Teacher background from HoNS: 
The Soil, p. 760-775

Object lessons:
HoNS Lesson 216, The Soil, p. 763 (3 experiments)
HoNS Lesson 217, How Our Valuable Soil is Lost, p. 770
HoNS Lesson 217, How to Conserve Our Soils, p. 775
Activities included in Life in a Bucket of Soil


**Note: When you are studying “earth science” you will encounter more explanations of the evolutionary theory than when you are studying botany or elephants, for example. Older books have less inclusion of this perspective, usually. My guiding line is that they not mock or attack the young earth view point. We can have a conversation about “millions of years”.

The following resources might be useful:

Creation.com – Engineer Goes Back to School: Don Batten chats with geologist Dr Tas Walker (Flood model solves geological puzzles)
Answers In Genesis – Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating (video)
Dr. Ron Carlson – Origins (video, covers carbon dating)
Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 1
Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 2