Students will explore how changes in rocks and land formations over time explain the large number of aquatic fossils that can be found across the state of Alabama. They will model volcanic eruptions and fossil formation through a hands-on activity using baking soda, vinegar, and playdough. Then they will read a news article to determine that Alabama was underwater at one time, which explains how aquatic fossils are found across the state. Finally, they will write and illustrate an explanation that shows how layers and fossils found in rock are evidence that these rocks changed over time.
This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.
In this lesson, students will conduct an experiment to compare similarities and differences with wind and water erosion. Students will create a narrative story describing a particular rock formation based on evidence in the rock patterns, including an estimated time frame, plants and animals that may have been living in the environment, and the type of erosion that formed their rock formation.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
Sedimentary rock is naturally formed in the Earth’s crust. It is formed when sediment deposits form layers, compact, and then cement together, creating a new rock. Sedimentary rocks are used for building materials, and sometimes they even contain fossils.
The classroom resource provides a slide show that will describe how sedimentary rocks are formed during the rock cycle. There is a karaoke song that students can learn to help them remember the steps in the rock cycle process. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding. Students can use the information presented in this slide show to plan their own investigations.
Fossils are preserved traces or remains of living things. Paleontologists who study fossils look for teeth, bones, shells, petrified wood, molds and casts, traces or carbon shadows, or even entire animals.
The classroom resource provides a slide show that will describe fossils and how they form. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.
In this lesson, students investigate the stripes in sedimentary rocks using a structure at Petra, in Jordan, as an example and then do a hands-on activity using mixed nuts to illustrate the layering of sedimentary rocks. Throughout the lesson, students are asked to reflect on the central question: How are the stripes of sedimentary rocks formed?