#19 - Rock

If you are using God's Creation From A to Z, please share your ideas with us.
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#19 - Rock

Unread post by Marie » Wed May 05, 2004 2:13 pm

Lesson #19 Rock

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Unread post by Winkie » Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:11 pm

Books we enjoyed with this unit:

Rocks by Robin Nelson
Let's Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans

Rocks in My Pockets by Marc Harshman (cute, silly story)
I Love Rocks by Cari Meister
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
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Food idea

Unread post by Winkie » Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:15 pm

On Day 4, when we made our volcano model, we also had "Potatoes Mt. Vesuvius" with dinner. On a baking sheet, mound up mashed potatoes into a volcano. In the hollow, pour a mixture of one egg, some melted butter and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the "mountain" with bread crumbs to look like sand and dirt. Bake in the oven till the cheese bubbles and oozes out over the sides.
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Unread post by Ariasarias » Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:51 pm

We watched the movie All About Rocks.
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Rock Ideas

Unread post by nhneubauer » Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:49 pm

Salt Crystal Garden:
The best way (and cheapest) is to use the recipe on Mrs. Stewart's Bluing website. I would point everyone in that direction because if you can't find laundry bluing it will not work. And they list where it is sold. They can sell you a kit but also list the recipe. They even explain why it grows.


Rock Tumbling:
Two problems here.

1. It takes a month, at least to get finished tumbled stones. Either start this very early or plan to finish this up later.

2. We got the Rolling Stones Rock Tumbler. The rubber gasket would not stay on after a week. So I have been using rubber bands to finish. I only had one time were it worked into the gears. I had to use pliers to make the wheel spin to get the rubber band out. So use small rubber bands if you try this. But it probably be better to order extra rubber gaskets.

Build A Salt Volcano:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_ex ... lcano.html

Which is more like a lava lamp but my kids loved watching it and mixing the colors.

Picture Recipes of Stone Soup:


Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:50 am
JoyfulDancer wrote:We are about to start the Rock unit, and one of the items listed to make crystals is laundry blueing. What is this?
Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:38 pm

Mrs. Stewart's is the most commom brand of bluing, which is actually used for whitening white clothes.

Look for it with other laundry stuff. it is typically in an 8 oz blue bottle. I bought mine at the local grocery store in the laundry aisle It was near bleach and bleach alternatives.

Most bottles include instructions for salt crystal gardens. There is also some interesting information about the science behind the crystal growing on their website.


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Unread post by RachelT » Tue May 08, 2007 10:06 pm

Stone Soup by John J. Muth is a new version of the familiar story with different illustrations.

I Am A Rock by Jean Marzollo is a fun way to introduce many familiar things that are really from rock (salt, chalk, etc.).

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Unread post by Rox » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:23 pm

We made a mini volcano today using tooth paste, a cup and sand.

Take a 6 to 8 oz styrofoam cup, punch a hole into bottom. Insert paste tube into bottom of cup hole, fill cup with dry loose sand and squeeze the tube of tooth paste. The paste will ooze up through the sand causing a lava like flow. Red paste has a nice effect.
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Rock (question)

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:54 pm

Leah OH wrote:I am looking ahead to next week and we will be on Lesson 19 - Rock. I see that they want us to go outside and collect rocks. Well, we live in Ohio and right now there is at least 1-2 feet of snow out there. Any suggestions on what to do in place of collecting rocks. Can I buy rocks anywhere?
We have landscaping companies here that will drop off tons of rock - river rock, lava rock, etc. Perhaps you could go to one of those places, or maybe even a plant nursery.

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Re: Rock (question)

Unread post by my3boys » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:58 pm

We have some trading post type gift shops where they sell polished stones - you can buy little baggies of them.

I was also thinking about making clay 'rocks' for them to do rock painting.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
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Re: Rock (question)

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:36 am

Along the same line of thinking as Trish said --- check home improvement stores that have garden centers. They sometimes still have their landscaping rocks available this time of year. Maybe they'd let you have a piece or of each type if you showed them it was for school.

Also, you could look at hobby/craft stores. Some times they carry bags of marbles/rocks kind of stuff. You'd want some with different shapes/colors/sizes.

After the end of "literature day", you'll see some alternative ideas to do. You could consider growing some crystals with either the idea that is in the teacher's manual with the laundry bluing. Or maybe there is a kit on a shelf at a store that you could buy and grow some crystals that way. (Laundry bluing brand around here is Mrs. Stewarts. Around here the stores put it in the laundry aisle closer to bleach alternatives.) The last time I bought a bottle of it was for science and it had crystal growing experiment on the bottle too. You could get it now and start it now. It takes a a few days to "grow". You could check on this thread about crystal growing hints/helps


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Re: Rock (question)

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:06 am

When you can't get to do the activity, just find a good video or book with pictures. It'll do for now.

You might want to make a yellow sticky note to put a few weeks further in the TM reminding you to look at real rocks or grass roots. It's fine to do things weeks later and is a good review activity ("Do you remember when we learned about roots? Well, now that the snow is gone and the grass is growing, let's look! And in a few weeks, when the grass is even taller, we'll look again.")
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finding rocks

Unread post by FreshKid » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:25 pm

If you have any row-crop farmers in your area, you might ask if they have any rocks piled up from their fields. We planted strawberries here in October and were picking up a "ka-zillion" rocks after we turned the soil.

Someone mentioned the polished rocks from the craft and landscape stores. I haven't looked ahead to see what kind of rocks you need. But... If you are going to be painting the rocks, the paint may not stick.

Just my thoughts,

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Volcano Activity

Unread post by FreshKid » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:21 pm

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has a lot of info and pictures here:
http://www.avo.alaska.edu/volcanoes/vol ... me=Redoubt


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Re: Volcano Activity

Unread post by kellybell » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:10 am

A really fun activity for studying how volcanoes change the landscape:

Gather: a small cup (like a bathroom Dixie cup), and the usual vinegar and baking soda, a plastic tablecloth or other protective cover, and four colors of play-doh (either old or new -- either way it will smell bad when you are done so consider it disposable -- but you DO need four distinct colors -- all our old play-doh is crumbly and gray and that won't work). Oh, you need a drinking straw too.

On the plastic cover, build up a small mountain of play-doh that builds up to the small Dixie cup in the middle so that the top of the cup is flush with the top of the mountain. Explain that this is the dormant volcano that's been just waiting to erupt!

Put a little baking soda in the cup and then pour in some vinegar. The volcano erupts and spills over the existing mountain. Use a different color play-doh to cover the path of the vinegar. This is the new landscape. Point out that in real life, trees and animals were wiped out and will start growing again soon.

I can't remember if you need to put in a fresh Dixie cup or not. :~

Well, repeat this again. Observe how the lava follows the current landscape and then pat down the third color of play-doh on top of the vinegar path from that eruption.

You have one color of play-doh left. Do a final eruption and cover the vinegar lava path with that last color. Explain that the landscape changes with each eruption and in some places the lava from one eruption is thicker than in other areas.

Take a straw and push straight down into the play-doh in one area where all four colors of play-doh are below. You should see four stripes of play-doh in the straw! Real geologists study volcanoes this way. They drill down and see how deep each lava layer is.

Notice that in some areas, based on how big the eruption was and what direction it flowed, you might only get one, two, or three colors of play-doh. That happens in real life too.

In real life, you'll also get animal bones and tree remains in the lava. The trees will be young ones if the eruptions were just a few years apart and will be mature if the eruptions were at least a few decades apart.

have fun!
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).


Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:18 am

Nice DVD at my library to use with both Rock and Jewel units.
Earth Science for Children, All About Rocks and Minerals.
Schlessinger Science Library.
and I didn't hear mention of "millions" of years either. I heard "long time ago". :-)


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Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by FreshKid » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:14 pm

Here are the books we used.

Eyewitness Books: Rock and Minerals ( We also used this for jewels).
If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst (I really liked this one because DS has tractors in his head)
Pebble by Susan Milord (The pebble on the shoreline wants to be something greater until he finds his special purpose.)
Stone Soup by Jon J Muth


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Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by DS4home » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:33 am

Day 6- Additional activities

The last suggestion is to make posters of living and non-living things. I simplified this idea by using the alphabet cards. We just sorted them into two piles, living and non-living things, talking about each one. It was a fun review of our year as well as a good sciency talk about what makes a thing living? I just left out the tagboard and glue and searching for pictures part ;)

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The Rock Game

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:36 am

My family plays a little game that would be fun for Rock...it is appropriately called "The Rock Game."

You need a patch of gravel and a few family members to play. We only have one child, so this game is played with cousins and grandparents. My parents have a large expanse of pea gravel near a seating area/swing set in their yard, and this is where we sit around and play The Rock Game. This is perfect for after family meals and such when folks gravitate outdoors, or when waiting for it to be dark enough to shoot fireworks, or just when you are all together but don't know what else to do. Of course for those with more than a couple children, you wouldn't have to wait for a family gathering but could play any time.

One person is the judge. The judge chooses a single characteristic that the others will search for... the reddest rock, the smoothest rock, a rock shaped like a triangle, the roundest rock, a rock with two colors, etc. You get the idea. The other players hunt for a rock that best matches the criteria. When the players have each found a rock, the judge closes his or her eyes (for fairness) and everyone puts their rock in the judge's hand. The judge then chooses the one which best fits the characteristic. The winner gets to be the next judge.

We have spent many an hour playing this very simple game at my parents' home, and you will discover that even adults will get in on it and get very excited when they find a rock that they think best fits the description. It is hilarious to see teens, adults and little children all hunkered down in the gravel, scrambling to find that perfect rock!

This game is great for learning how to describe characteristics, how to listen carefully, how to judge fairly by the standard which was given, for contrasting and comparing and for learning about similarities and differences. It also teaches patience, perseverance and good sportsmanship. It is a fast-paced game that anyone can win as long as they understand descriptive words like "most smooth" or "roundest" and such.
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Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sat May 12, 2012 1:49 am

We did enjoy using a rock tumbler which we began during the rock unit. I had an old tumbler, but it was broken. Yet I had the grit, jewelry settings and the rocks. So I asked around on our homeschool co-op's email list and the next week at co-op a lady I barely know brought me a rock tumbler she had found at a thrift store for $2. It also still had grit packets and has worked well as long as the rim of the barrel was sealed with Vaseline on the inside around the gasket. (It is National Geographic brand.) We thoroughly examined our stones before polishing and I took many photos. We also had some semi-precious stones from a trip to a cave with had one of those "mine for gems" water chutes, and we used some of those in addition to some from the tumbler kit.

Now, at long last weeks later, we have our polished stones. It was a lengthy process but worth the wait... you know, we had to persevere! ;) The tumbler was so noisy that we kept it in a different building from our home, and one could still hear it if outside.

If you can get your hands on one and have the place to put it out of earshot, this is a worthwhile project. Gail plans to make some jewelry out of the stones, using the clasps and such that were with the defunct tumbler. And she asked if we could start another batch, too! Which we did. Rrrrrrr grind rrrrrrr grind rrrrrrr for more weeks yet!

Be sure to take before and after photos of your rocks, or keep a few untumbled rocks for comparison.

As a side note, we spent a week at Dauphin Island Alabama recently and were enjoying the beach there. The waves were fierce there due to the weather, and as we sat in the pounding surf, my daughter picked up a shell which had been beaten and smoothed by the waves over time. She commented, "Hey, this is what our rock tumbler is doing... the sand is like the grit, the rocks are like this shell, the waves are like how it spins all the time, and the water is like the water we use to cover the rocks. But ours will do it faster!" It was a great connection and one I am sure she will remember when she looks at her smooth stones.
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... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

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Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by ♥nbamaboyz » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:29 pm

We listened to the song "American Dream" by Casting Crowns
and talked about how easy we can start to build castles from sand
if we are not watchful.

Then we listened to "Slow Fade" also by Casting Crowns,
we talked about how we can slowly start to think things are gray
& before we know it we've left our ROCK ~ JESUS for worldly things.
I hadn't listened to these songs in awhile BUT they flow well with this unit ;)

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Re: #19 - Rock

Unread post by lea_lpz » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:01 pm

We happened to get Veggie Tales: The Little House That Stood on a whim at Costco since my son was really into havinge tell him the story of the 3 little pigs. Fit in perfect with the Biblical theme if this unit and both children enjoyed it a lot.

Our favorite part of the week was making stone soup. I think that's something my kids'll remember into adulthood; they were so amazed and ate lots of veggies, too :). We used the link for a picture version of the stew which was great because they could follow along. They even got to help chop veggies with butter knives under close supervision :).

Fun unit!
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Can someone please suggest some resources the R unit in

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:52 pm

kewkew34 wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for resources for the R: Rock unit that help explain the creation of rocks without the millions of years stuff being mentioned throughout the book? I know I can skip over those parts (which I did), but I am actually wondering how creationists explain the creation of rocks without the millions of years. I am wondering if anyone has any specific links to websites or anything as we are on R right now and I don't have time to wait for books from the library.
Yes. Go to the Answers in Genesis website and search, "Rocks." There's a video called "Dating Fossils and Rocks" to start, and some other videos and articles available.

Also, when you get time, click on the "Kids" link at the top of the Answers in Genesis website, then click on "Videos." There are tons of videos about animals, and you can easily find an animal that starts with the Letter you're studying in K that week. :)
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