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Index of Wildflowers (Common Names)
Index of Wildflowers (Scientific Names)
Index of Other Organisms

Teacher Resource Page
Classroom Presentations
Games for Teachers
Videos for Teachers

Wildflowers From Other States
Wildflowers At A Glance


Teacher Resource Page
An activity guide and "how-to" for navigating this website!

Website Navigation
Classroom Activities
Classroom Presentations
Science Outreach Programs

Being a teacher myself, I know how much teachers love freebies! I have a tremendous amount of information on this site that can be used by teachers and students alike. The information includes loads of wildflowers (of course!); the flowers are listed by blooming season, color, and growing location for ease of identification. Other Educational Resources covered on the site include natural sciences: fruit and seeds; butterflies, moths and caterpillars; animals; insects; reptiles and amphibians; birds, and spiders. Earth and space sciences include: Moon Phases , Weather, and TN Geology.The second search box on the
"Search All Galleries" will show photos from keywords.

You can use the Tennessee Standards page link to connect the standard numbers to corresponding photos: 2001 TN Science Standards

Classroom Presentations

I’ve added presentations (modified PowerPoints) that can be used in the classroom. The subjects include: Geology and the Rock Cycle; the life cycles of the monarch butterfly, the ladybug, and the frog; the Rotation and Revolution of the Earth, Moon Phases, Eclipses, and a Comet; Classification of Organisms, and Animal Survival Strategies. Click here to access these presentations.


Website Navigation

New! A printable outline suggesting site navigation is available by clicking this link Navigation Outline.

The "Google" search box at the top of this page is "smart" and will find words or series of words and show a list of galleries or photo links. After performing a "Google" search request, click on the appropriate link to view the photograph.

The second "Gallery Search" box, displayed below, is not as "intelligent"; it must have the exact keyword and correct spelling. The advantage of this search box is that it will show all the thumbnails of the photographs on a single page.

Some of my keywords include:

Plants Animals Geology, Astronomy, and others
aquatic camouflage erosion
aroma mimicry limestone
odor protective coloration sandstone
native veterinary medicine sedimentary
non-native poisonous to animals metamorphic
INN (for invasive non-natives) poisonous igneous
poisonous venomous granite
pollinator
metamorphosis geology
annual predator glacier
perennial
stinger
moon phases
biennial
larva
lunar eclipse


story (for strange or crazy things that have happened while working on this site!)


Plants and Fungi
    Long-spur Violet

For information about flowers: Introduction to Flowers, this page tells about the different parts of flowers and their functions, the colors and shapes of flowers and their pollinators, seeds, and the life cycle of flowering plants.

To help learn how to identify wildflowers:
Tips for Wildflower Identification, this page covers plant characteristics, flower families represented on my website and examples of each.
mushroom


For information on mushrooms, lichens, ferns, slime molds, etc.

Geology
Arches NP
Utah Sandstone

Tennessee has a varied geology. Check Tennessee Geology and Topography for information on the state's landforms and rock types.  To take a "virtual geologic tour" of the state from Cedars of Lebanon State Park in middle TN to Roan Mountain State Park in the Appalachian Mountains of upper east TN, visit the Geology and Topography of Tennessee gallery. This gallery will show photographs of sandstone, limestone, fossils, gneiss, shale, slate, waterfalls, and different landforms found in middle and east Tennessee. For information about rocks and the rock cycle, go to Activity #12 below.

A search on the Alaska, Arizona, California 2003 and 2006, and Utah galleries will provide information on glaciers, sandstone, limestone, granite, metamorphic rocks, and mountains (put keywords in the search boxes on this page).

Insects
Milkweed beetle

The life cycle of the Monarch butterfly is covered in the Butterflies and Moths gallery. See Activity #6 below for information on rasing butterflies.

Weather
strange cloud 
To learn about weather and cloud types see the Weather  gallery.

Moon Phases
Moon- waxing gibbous
To see the phases of the moon, an eclipse, and a comet, see the Moon gallery.

Classroom Activities

Many of these activities use an activity sheet found on the Worksheet page. You may copy these sheets to use with your students. If you live in a different area of the country, you may want to modify the Scavenger Hunt. If you find these activities useful in your classroom or at home, please share this site with others. If every teacher or homeschool parent shares it with just one other person, students all over the country could be learning even more about nature! If you have questions or comments about these activities or ideas for other activities, please contact me at my e-mail address.


Plants and Animals

1. Grades 4 - 8 Every aspect of life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is being studied extensively by scientists. The goal is to discover and catalog every type of living organism in the park from bacteria and slime molds to black bears and elk. This project is called the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (or ATBI), it is being coordinated by Discover Life in America (DLIA). Over six hundred species new to science and nearly 4500 species new to the park have been documented by the Discover Life in America teams of scientists and volunteers. Your students can do their own species study in the schoolyard. Brainstorm with the students first and ask them how many different plants and animals they think they might see in the school yard, write down the list to compare with actual findings later. Use the "Our School's Own ATBI" sheets, this website, and identification books to find out the diversity of your schoolyard (see Worksheet Page ). The study could include the entire schoolyard or just a transect along a line. Remember, this study will include not only plants, but insects, birds, fungi, lichens, worms, snails, and other living organisms, it may take more than 2 information sheets. Don't forget to look in the soil! It would be best to do this study in the spring and fall to get as many organisms as possible. Encourage the students to be as accurate as possible in their identifications, but don't get too picky, the activity should be kept fun and exciting for them.

2.
Grades 4 - 8 Upper elementary and middle school students can use the website to learn more about nature by doing a Scavenger Hunt. (see Worksheet Page ) Teachers can use the questions provided or make up their own questions to better match their own area.

3.
Grades 3 - 6 In many school districts, it seems that United States and world geography seem to be taking a back seat to the subjects that "will be on the state tests". The "Site Usage Statistics" page is a log of the countries and state school systems where web site visitors have originated. Public schools will be listed as "k12.state.us", the state name will be the same 2-digit code as the state's postal code (.tn=Tennessee). Encourage students to learn about the states and countries of the world by finding them on the maps on the "Where in the World Are the Search Requests Coming From?" (see Worksheet Page )  Have them find the states and countries from the request page on a classroom map or globe and write the names on the maps.

4.
Grades 2 - 6 Learn about foreign languages by comparing the nature words in English, German, Spanish and French. If you have students who speak other languages, have them add their language to the list. (see Worksheet Page )

5. Grades K - 8 Mushroom spore prints are fun and easy to make. Pick a mushroom and remove the stem from the cap. Place the cap with the gill side (the lower side) down on a piece of black or white paper (depending on what color you think the spores may be, pick a corresponding color). Leave the cap undisturbed overnight. The spores will be released and drop onto the paper in the pattern of the gills. Gently lift the cap to reveal the spore print. Spray the print with clear lacquer, sealant, or hairspray. If you will be letting the children handle the paper, it is a good idea to lamitate it to preserve the print (they will put their fingers on the print!). If there are a lot of the same mushrooms growing in the area, try doing 2 prints (one on dark, the other on light paper). It is not always possible to tell what color the spores will be just by looking at the gills. I once had a white mushroom that made an olive-green spore print.

Monarch egg

Monarch Egg
Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar
Monarch Chrysalis

Monarch Chrysalis
Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly


6. Grades K - 6 If you have easy access to milkweed, it is exciting to raise Monarch caterpillars (see the Butterflies and Moths Gallery). If Monarchs and milkweed are not available, Painted Lady Butterfly caterpillars can be ordered. There are many species of milkweed, they may be different in your area. The egg-laying season of the Monarch varies depending on the regions of the country. Here in Tennessee we have 2 times a year when the females lay their eggs on the milkweed (early May and early September).  It is more exciting for students if leaves with eggs are available so they can watch the entire lifecycle. Put the leaf with the egg or the caterpillar in a container with a large opening (make sure it is at least 4", the butterfly must be able to get out safely once it emerges). The lid needs to be firm so the caterpillar can attach to it and form a chrysalis. The container needs to have some small ventilation holes so the caterpillar can breathe but not big enough for it to be able to escape. A large plastic ice cream container will work fine. I have even made a "window" of overhead projector film to put on the container so the students could easily view the caterpillar. In order to prevent the leaf from drying out before the caterpillar hatches from the egg, place the stem of the leaf in a film canister with a small amout of water. DO NOT allow the egg to be submersed! Once the caterpillar hatches it will eat its eggshell and then the tiny hairs on the under side of the leaf so the leaf needs to stay fresh. Caterpillars don't swim or float very well, so make sure they don't get in the water. It is not necessary to have water in the jar for the caterpillar to drink, it will get all it needs from the milkweed leaves it eats.  It is interesting to measure the caterpillar's growth each day. Notice how it has a "growth spurt" each time it molts (this will happen 4 times before becoming a chrysalis). Before molting, the caterpillar will crawl to the edge of the cage and quit eating, this is normal. The shed skin will probably not be visible in the cage, the caterpillars often eat the discarded skin, it is a good source of protein! Be sure and keep plenty fresh leaves in the container, the caterpillar will eat a lot as it gets larger. Don't be alarmed at the amount of waste that the caterpillar will generate; a lot goes in, so a lot will come out! Keep the "frass" (a.k.a "poop") cleaned out of the cage so it doesn't mold and get really nasty! It will take 10 - 14 days for the caterpillar to eat enough to be ready to pupate. You do not have to have a stick in the container for the caterpillar to make the chrysalis, it can attach to the lid or the side of the container. The caterpillar will climb to a high point in the container, spin a silk mat with its' mouth and then attach itself by its' back feet to hang in the shape of a "J". While in the J shape, the caterpillar pulls air into its' body through the spiracles ("breathing holes" in the abdomen).  After about 12 hours of wiggling and pulling in air, the whiplashes (antennae) will curl, the caterpillar will hang straight and all of a sudden the skin will split behind the head. The loose skin will then slide up the caterpillar's body until it is up by the top feet (called prolegs). With one final, mighty wriggle, the green chrysalis forces the skin to pop off and fall to the bottom of the container. Don't be alarmed if the skin stays at the top, it won't hurt anything. The beautiful jade-green chrysalis will hang for 10 -14 days.  The black "stem" it hangs by is called the cremaster. (If the chrysalis turns black 2 -3 days after changing from a caterpillar, it is probably parasitized by a tachnid fly larva and it will die). The day before the butterfly emerges the chrysalis will begin to turn dark at the top. On the final day the entire chrysalis will turn black and the orange scales on the wings will become visible. It won't be long until the butterfly emerges! It is hard to believe there is a complete butterfly contained in that little package! When it does come out, it emerges head first. While hanging onto the transparent chrysalis it flips over and begins to pump fluids from the abdomen into the wing veins. Notice how the long mouthparts are in two sections. The butterfly forces them together to make the characteristic long, tube mouth. Slowy, the wings begin to expand, the abdomen shrinks and the butterfly is ready to fly in about 2 hours. When the butterfly is ready to be released, gently hold it by the legs and put it on a tree branch or a large flower. Watch as it opens and closes its' wings, if the lower wings have a black dot on the mid-vein, it is a male (see photo). The butterfly will fly away when it is strong enough. The fall brood of butterflies will fly to Mexico to overwinter (east of the Rockies). Butterflies living west of the Rockies fly to the central coast of California to overwinter in the Eucalyptus trees in Pacific Grove.
tree
7. Grades 3 - 6 My Favorite Tree - Have (see "Worksheet Page") Students study a tree and write down details about it. Later the other students will try to identify the type of tree by the written details.

8.
Grades 2- 5 Schoolyard Scavenger Hunt (see "Worksheet Page") Let your students go out into the schoolyard and see if they can find as many of the listed plants, animals and objects as possible. It may be necessary to modify the list for your area.

Scavenger Hunt for Grades K - 1 Print photos of plants,
animals and objects from your schoolyard for students to find.

A Scavenger Hunt of this website is for Grades 4 - 8, have your students answer the questions on the worksheet
.

9.
Grades 3 - 6 Have students watch animals in the schoolyard, their backyard, or in a park; have them use their imagination to write an "animal adventure".  They could also write about a plant.
For instance:
A. A peaceful seed-eating colony of ants encounters a fierce colony of fire ants.
B. Have the students write about the adventures and perils of a monarch butterfly on its' migration path from your state to the mountains of central Mexico.
C. Write about a puffball that gets stepped on by a child. What happens to the spores? Or write about a walnut being carried off by a squirrel or a "helicopter seed" that spins down from a tree.

10. 
Grades K - 6 Have children prentend they are an insect, spider, millipede, etc. found on the website.

A. The "Insect" is made of 9 children holding onto a circular rope. 3 children on the inside of the rope are the head, thorax, and abdomen. The "legs" have one hand on the thorax section outside the rope (keep a space between "legs" so they don't step on the person in front of them), they would walk in the pattern of an insect (see attached link or pattern below. On the first step "Legs" #1, 5, and 3 move forward ("x" moves. "o"stays still),
"Legs" #2, 4, and 6 stay still. On the second step "Legs" #2, 4, and 6 move forward, "Legs" #1, 5, and 3 stay still. The 3 "body parts" inside the rope move slowly along with the legs. Repeat this pattern until students can do it with ease! This activity will take incredible listening and cooperation skills for the younger students! (If you successfully do this with Kindergarteners, please let me know!) :)
Insect walking pattern
"leg #"123 123 123
             xox oxo xox

"leg #"456 456 456
             oxo xox oxo

B. Have students use insect and spider "senses" to find their way along a "sensory trail" around a small area of the room. Blindfold the student and have him/her use their sense of smell, touch, or hearing. Place unlit, delicately-scented candles in a staggered pattern and have the student "Smell" his/her way along the trail. Put an unpleasant-smelling substance (fish food, mustard) along the trail as a surprise!

C. Make a spiderweb by tying a rope in a circle just large enough for the student ("spider") to stand in comfortably. Tie 6 - 8 smaller ropes around the circle rope and have a child ("insect") hold the end of each one. The "spider" in the middle is blindfolded. On the teacher's cue, one "insect" tugs gently on the rope. The
"spider" will point to the moving "insect", that is then "eaten" and must drop out. The final insect can move from one rope to another to make the game a bit more interesting! See this link for more information about spiders.

D. Have a blindfolded student follow a "sensory trail" by touching different textures. Give some of the textures special meanings (for instance: rubber fishing worms = "food"; sandpaper = "danger"; water = "drinking water supply"; have other textures (ice, aluminum foil, satin, sticky duct tape, etc.) that have no meaning along the trail to show how animals are exposed to many different sensory experiences.

Weather Activities

                                               Human Snowflake                Melted human snowflake
                                                A Human Snowflake                             The Snowflake after it has melted

11. A. To teach about the water cycle, let each child pretend to be a water molecule. Tell them that they are floating high in the sky in a cloud. As the temperature gets colder they begin to stick together and form a snowflake. Snowflakes are always six-sided due to the shape of the water molecule (H20). Have 6 students form a hexagon by grasping each other's shoulders. Six more students will grasp the elbows of two people in the hexagon with one hand and extending the other straight out. As the snowflake drifts through the cloud it picks up six or twelve more people (depending on the size of the class). Have these new students grasp the extended hands, adding to the snowflake. Have the "snowflake" rock back and forth gently as if it is falling from the cloud. Finally it falls to the ground (still intact). The teacher or another student can hold up a circle of yellow paper simulating the sun. Tell the students that the temperature has risen above 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. Ask them what would happen at that temperature. Have the snowflake begin to fall apart as it melts (students drop hands and lay on the floor). As the sun rises in the sky the "water molecules" begin to rise from the floor and jump into the air to start the cycle all over again. (Discuss evaporation, condensation, and precipitation)

B.

 How to make a Paper Snowflake

Paper Snowflake
 

Math, science, art, writing, geography

Math: This project could be used as a math activity to reinforce teaching fractions, adding or multiplying by 3’s and cutting shapes.

Science: Snowflakes are always 6-pointed due to the shape of the water molecule (H20). Draw a water molecule on the board.



When the water molecules freeze high in the clouds, they join together in a 6-sided form (hexagon), with the hydrogen atom of one molecule touching the oxygen atom of the next molecule and so on.

As this “central core” falls through the clouds, it begins to pick up more and more molecules, soon a snowflake forms. Since snowflakes always have 6 sides, you must start out with a circle, if you use a square, you’ll have 4-sided snowflakes (which is physically impossible and scientifically incorrect)!
     

Supplies: Paper, a protractor or something round to trace around (depending on the age and ability of the students), scissors, paper punch and serrated craft scissors (if desired)

  1.  Draw or trace a circle of the desired size on a piece of paper and cut out circle.

 circle

  1. Fold the circle in half.

 half circle

  1. Then fold it into equal thirds.

 thirds

  1. Cut designs through all thicknesses at the top, the folds, and even the center point. It is important that the students don’t cut too much on a fold, the snowflake may fall apart!  Hole punches make nice, clean circles. Serrated craft scissors make interesting outer edges. Older students may enjoy cutting hearts, stars, ovals and other shapes in the snowflake.

 cut piece

  1. Open out the snowflake when finished, put on the classroom windows or the door for everyone to enjoy!

 paper snowflake2

  1. Writing: Students could make up a story about their snowflake to tell about where it began and where it ended up.
  2. Geography: Find out about your local weather patterns to learn where your rain and snow clouds originate. This is a good time to discuss the water cycle and make the “Human Snowflake” (Activity #11A).

12.

Geology (for grades K – 8)
 

Some of these sections will have more than your grade level may need to know, you can modify the information to fit your curriculum and the students’ level of understanding. Use the website to show photos of rocks in their natural environment by typing keywords into the second search box. Look on the Geology and Topography of Tennessee gallery to see photos of the different kinds of rock in their natural environment.

Begin the class talking about the layers of the earth (inner core, outer core, mantle, crust) and how minerals are formed deep below the Earth’s crust in the mantle layer (magma). The hot magma is like a giant stewpot and the minerals are the “ingredients” that make up the “rock stew”. Heat from the core (from radioactive decay) is the “fire” that warms the pot. Explain that rocks are made up of 2 or more minerals. Show a piece of granite, the large crystals of quartz, feldspar and hornblende are easy to see.

quartz crystals
Quartz Crystals

There are 3 basic types of rocks:

1. Igneous rocks (basalt, granite, lava, obsidian, pumice) were the first rocks on earth. Igneous means “from fire”. Talk about how they would have formed. Was it a long time ago (millions or billions of years ago if they cooled beneath the surface) or recently (in volcanic eruptions)? Did they form deep underground and become exposed by erosion, or did they form above the earth’s surface? Igneous rock that formed and cooled slowly underground is called intrusive; if it formed above ground, from a volcano, it is extrusive. Which ones formed slowly (granite)? Rocks that cooled slowly (thousands to millions of years) have larger crystals; rocks that cooled quickly have small crystals. Which ones formed rapidly (basalt, pumice, scoria, “lava”, obsidian)? Discuss ways igneous rock can be worn down and eroded (rain, wind, ice expanding in cracks, acids from lichens). What happens to the eroded rock?
Show photos of igneous rock from the EastTennesseeWildflowers website by typing “igneous” into the second search box. Discuss how people have used igneous rocks (obsidian stone knives, jewelry, building stones, statues, cemetery headstones, flooring, gravel, “grit” in cleaning agents, pumice stones for rough skin, tourist attractions such as the volcanoes in Hawaii, Mt. Rainier, Lassen Volcano NP, Yosemite NP, Acadia NP, Mt. Rushmore)

2. Discuss Sedimentary rocks (sandstone, limestone, conglomerate, shale, chert, coal) and how they formed. About 75% of the earth’s surface is covered with sedimentary rock. 


A.The first sedimentary rocks would have formed from broken down igneous rock. If available, look at grains of beach sand through a dissecting microscope or with a strong magnifying glass, note the different colors of the sand grains. (Note: some areas, such as the Gulf Coast of Florida, have mainly one type of rock in the sand, resulting in the pure white sand.) It is interesting to collect sand from different areas of the country while traveling. When small pieces of eroded rock (sand, pebbles, silt) are compacted, cemented, and recrystallized, they become “lithified” (turned to stone); they can become shale, sandstone, conglomerate, or breccia, depending on the size and shape of the rocks. Make a sediment jar (see activity #12) to let the students observe the sizes of the rocks in the layers. The famous Red Rock of southern Utah is a beautiful example of sandstone. Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks showcase the awesome power of time, wind, and water in the arches, deep canyons, hoodoos, and multicolored layers in the rock.

B. Limestone and dolostone are considered “carbonates”, they were formed through both biochemical and chemical processes. Limestone contains calcite (CaCO3), which was derived from the shells of ancient sea creatures that died and settled on the seafloor hundreds of millions of years ago. Over millions of years, the shells were compacted, chemically cemented together, and then recrystallized into limestone. It is common to find fossils in some kinds of limestone. A fun test to do on “fossiliferous” limestone is to put a couple of drops of hydrochloric acid on it; if the rock bubbles, it is limestone. The alkaline calcium carbonate reacts with the acid and releases carbon dioxide gas bubbles. Chalk is another type of limestone that was formed from the shells of microscopic aquatic organisms. The White Cliffs of Dover, England are a good example of chalk. A walk along a beach in Florida or Barbados may reveal another type of limestone called “coquina”, it is a mixture of seashells, sand, and pebbles cemented together with calcite.
coquina Coquina Rock

  1. Show photos of sedimentary rock from the EastTennesseeWildflowers website by typing “sedimentary” into the second search box.
  2. Talk about how people have used sedimentary rock (building material “flagstone”, cement, gravel, tourist attractions such as the Grand Canyon; Arches,  Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks)

3. Discuss tectonic plates, fault zones, earthquakes, ocean trenches, and volcanoes and how the earth is constantly moving beneath the crust. Explain that the heat from the earth’s core acts like a stove eye and the magma in the mantle acts like water boiling in a pot. The magma near the core is hotter (around 4000 degrees F) and slowly rises, while the magma near the crust is cooler (around 1500 degrees F) and sinks. The movement and pressure of the magma puts stress on some areas of the crust causing it to pull apart, push together, or slide, these are called “faults”. Show the earthquake website: http://www.iris.edu/seismon/ to illustrate the most active areas on earth. The areas with the most purple dots on the map are where the faults are located. In some areas of the earth, the lighter oceanic crust is forced under the heavier continental crust. It is in these areas that oceanic trenches occur, volcanic and earthquake activity is high in these areas. Rock is melted and “recycled” in the subduction zones beneath the trenches, volcanoes often form near trenches. If possible, show the class a raised relief map of the west coast states and note the chain of volcanoes. Discuss the San Andreas fault in California and the “Ring of Fire” along the Pacific Coast.

Ok, now to the metamorphic rock! It is important for students to understand what goes on beneath the earth’s surface before they can understand how metamorphic rocks form. There are 3 ways that metamorphic rocks occur:

  1. Heat - When rocks are exposed to a tremendous amount of heat and pressure beneath the surface, they buckle, bend and often melt. This changes the crystalline structure of the rock to make it become a new type of rock. When rock, such as granite, is compacted it pushes the minerals closer together making the new rock more dense and it often becomes striated (striped) or layered. Granite becomes “gneiss” (pronounced – “nice”), which has very prominent stripes. Lava and magma coming in contact with rocks can cause them to change too.
  1. Pressure – Rocks that are subjected to tremendous amounts of pressure, due to either burial under heavier rock or tectonic pressure can metamorphose. This can happen from 3 to nearly 25 miles beneath the surface of the earth.
  1. Chemical fluids – When water is exposed to magma close to the surface, minerals are released into the seawater and settle out on the seafloor. “Black smokers” in the vent zones of the ocean floor belch out massive amounts of minerals. Ore deposits in mountain ranges formed in a similar way when water seeped through cracks in the rocks long ago.

Some metamorphic rocks include:
Gneiss  from granite (parent rock)
Marble  from limestone
Schist   from basalt
Slate     from shale
Quartzite  from quartz sandstone
Metagraywacke  from greywacke

Serpentinite  from peridotite

Soapstone (steatite)   from peridotite

Metamorphic minerals include:
Garnet
Talc
Graphite
Tourmaline
Asbestos

Show photos of metamorphic rock from the EastTennesseeWildflowers website by typing “metamorphic” into the second search box above.

Discuss how people use metamorphic rock (eyeshadow, building materials, carving rock [soapstone], cemetery, gemstones, jewelry, headstones, pencil lead, fire retardant)

 

The Rock Cycle

 rock cycle

Draw this diagram on the board. Write the names of the three types of rocks at each point of the triangle. Explain that over enough time (hundreds to billions of years), all rocks can change from one form into another.

Igneous rock is broken down into sediments, which eventually become sedimentary rock; it can also be transformed into metamorphic rock by heat and pressure; or it can be re-melted back into the magma.

Sedimentary rock can be re-melted back into the magma to become igneous rock once again; it can also be transformed into metamorphic rock by heat and pressure; or it can be broken down into sediments, which eventually become sedimentary rock again.

Metamorphic rock can be broken down into sediments, which eventually become sedimentary rock; or it can be re-melted back into the magma.

To help the younger students get a better grasp of this, give them 3 different colors of modeling clay, Play-doh(TM), or home-made “salt and flour clay”. Start out with a few large chunks (quarter-sized) of clay, these will be the igneous rocks. Have the students break some off into several pea-sized pieces, this is sand or sediment. Gently press the “sand grains” together so that they are attached, but not smashed together, this is sedimentary rock. To make metamorphic rock, let the students press and bend the sandstone to make twisted layers.

activity1

Igneous rocks
acitivity2

Sedimentary rock  
activity3

Metamorphic rock


                                                                    
Helpful geology links:

http://www.gpc.edu/~pgore/geology/geo101/sedrx.htm

http://www.geo.ua.edu/intro03/Seds.html


Volcano and earthquake links:

http://www.iris.edu/seismon - for daily global earthquake activity

 

sediment_jar2
Sedimentation jar


To teach about the formation of sedimentary rocks, have students bring in a clear 16 ounce plastic water bottle. Add about an inch (each) of soil, sand, and small rocks to the bottle and fill with water. Replace the lid and add duct tape around the lid to avoid leaks or "accidents". Shake the bottle and listen to the rocks and sand as they hit the side. Have the students listen as they stop shaking the bottle. Ask what they hear (they should tell you that they hear the rocks hitting the bottom and then the sand). Ask what they think is happening to the contents of the bottle. The rocks settle first since they are the largest, next the sand settles, and the mud will take some time to settle. Set the jars aside and look at them 15 - 30 minutes later. Ask the students what they see.



Draw a sediment jar on the board with the rocks at the bottom, the sand, and then the mud and water layers (I like to use different colors for each layer). Label each layer on the right side of the drawing. Discuss that this is what happened to pebbles, sand and mud long ago along river banks, beaches, and on the sea floor. On the opposite side of the drawing write "conglomerate" next to the rock layer, "sandstone" next to the sand layer, and "shale" next to the mud layer. Explain that over a very long period of time the different layers turned to the different types of stone. Discussion of fossils could be added to the lesson since they are formed in sedimentary rock.




Science Outreach Programs
(for schools in the East Tennessee area)


I have been involved in teaching science outreach programs in the east Tennessee area since 1987. The Ecological and Physical Sciences Study Center began in 1986 through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In April 2006 the program was transferred to the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge. The classes are taught at the schools, at the museum classroom or at our outdoor facility in the 19th-century cabin at Freels Bend on Melton Hill Lake. During the 1 - 2 hour classes,  the students enjoy learning about science through hands-on activities. We presently have 4 instructors, I teach the natural sciences along with a few of the physical sciences. I am available to teach on Thursdays and Fridays.


For more information about science classes, please see the AMSE (American Museum of Science and Energy) Outreach link.


Webpage: TeacherRes