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Educational Programs - 4th Grade: Rocks and Minerals

Objectives:

  1. To introduce students to recognize the differences between rocks and minerals.
  2. To identify various rocks and minerals by their characteristics.
  3. To understand the impact of glaciers on the Preserve's landscape and the current impact of weathering and erosion on our environment.

Themes:

  • Rock and Mineral Identification
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Glacial History: Kettleholes, Moraines, and Erratics
  • Weathering and Erosion

Key concepts that students should know:

  • Know that rocks are made up of several minerals while minerals tend to be composed of one or more elements.
  • Know the difference between sedimentary (rocks made of layers), metamorphic (rocks changed by heat and pressure), and igneous rocks (often volcanic rocks that have melted and cooled).
  • Kettleholes are ponds created by chunks of ice left behind by the glaciers.
  • Moraines are small hills formed in front of or beside glaciers as they move.
  • Erratics are rocks or boulders usually not found in this landscape, but they were left behind by the glaciers as they receded.
  • Erosions and weathering are the wearing away of soils and rock by water or wind.

Five Trail Rules of Conduct:

  1. Walk quietly.
  2. Stay on the trails.
  3. Stay behind the leader and listen carefully.
  4. Do not pick anything connected to the ground.
  5. Do not chew gum because it can hurt animals if they eat it.