Rocks, Soil, and Centers. Oh my!

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Hey, y'all! We're back with another installment of science center resources! This week, we're talking about earth sciences, specifically rocks and soil. If you missed my original post about how science centers work in my classroom, you can check it out here. (Don't forget to to download the freebie!)

Now, before we begin, let me just say that teaching about soil can be, well, dull as dirt. BUT NOT ANYMORE! With science stations, students get to explore (and play in) the dirt. What kid doesn't love that. (Don't worry, the mess will be minimal. :) )

We start off the week building schema and creating a soil layers snack cup. Instant engagement! Then, Tuesday through Thursday, students go to science stations and explore soil (mostly) on their own. Friday, the whole class comes together for an experiment.


Each station has task cards with pictures to help them remember what to do. I usually go over directions for each station before letting my littles go. That way my emerging readers are more successful at each station.


Every station has science notebook pages for students to record their thinking and keep track of their learning. Information cards are included in some centers as well. 


The thing I love about these units are all the hands on experiments the kids can do. And they get to do them independently!

Yes, you most likely have a student or two that needs you to be nearby during some activities. We all do. But the way these tasks are set up, even my most challenging students were able to be successful because the stations are engaging and self-paced.


In the soil unit, students learn all about soil layers, types of soil, and weathering and erosion.


In the the rocks unit, students learn about how rocks are made, the different types of rocks, and what you can do with rocks. 


There are so many ways rocks are used in the world, but students don't usually think about those things without a little guidance from us.


In one lab, students will use rocks to make their own buildings. Craft stores have bags of flat rocks for pretty cheap that are perfect for building with.


For more information about both of these units, check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. The soil unit can be found here and the rocks unit can be found here. You can get both of these units and the plant unit in the Earth science bundle here.

Have you used science centers in your classroom before? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below.


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