The Ashley Bryan School

The Ashley Bryan School
Serving Children in Grades K-8 from the Cranberry Isles

Monday, February 13, 2012

Slowing Down: Weathering, Erosion and the Rock Cycle!

This week our study of geology slowed down a bit.  We studied weathering, erosion and the rock cycle!!

The week began with the usual TLC science meeting.  This week it was Isle Au Haut's turn to host.  Mrs. Greatorex on Isle Au Haut, along with the help her her four students, directed the group through two experiments that led to some great discussion about weathering and erosion. 
First we learned about weathering.  In this experiment each team was given two sugar cubes, a small amount of water and an eye dropper.  The assignment was to see what would happen when water dropped onto the sugar cubes for one minute.  The students found that the water changed the way the sugar cubes looked.  In a couple of groups the sugar cubes dissolved completely. 

Next, each team was given some potting soil and two straws.  The teams made small mountains from their potting soil.  Then they were instructed to lightly blow on their mountains for one minute and to observe what happened.  The potting soil mountains eroded! 

Later in the week we learned about the rock cycle.  We learned that there are three classes of rocks:  metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary.  We learned all about the characteristics of the three classes of rocks.  Then it was time to try to apply our new knowledge.  Using a rock collection and what they knew about metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks, the students tried to determine the class of each rock in the collection. 

Even knowing the characteristics of the three classes of rocks, it was hard.  There were many good discussions and hypotheses. 

 After learning all week about weathering, erosion and the rock cycle, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a geology walk.   We found lots of good examples of weathering, erosion and cool rocks!

1 comment:

  1. I am a veteran Texas Educator (20 years) ... I am so jealous of your unique "classroom". You are very lucky to have such a "flexable" learning environment, small class size, and outdoor activities. I have recently retired and am planning to visit Maine and, in researching the area, came across your lovely school.
    I send you greetings from Texas and wish you success in your learning adventures!!!