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Home : 2004 : Feb : 29

    Rocks and Minerals Writing Activity
    By Karina

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    Try having your students write a mini-story from a rock's point of view telling how the rock was formed. This activity is an excellent way to teach about point of view and personification. You can make it as simple or as complex as you would like. I have done this activity for many years with children in grades 2-5, and find it to always be challenging and fun!

    First, I gather a collection of different rocks (Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary). Luckily, my school's media center has a rock collection. All of the rocks are labeled with name and type. Then, I assign each student a rock. For lower ability or ESL students, I assign igneous rocks - they are the easiest to tell where/how they originated. For average students, I assign sedimentary rocks. Finally, for high ability or gifted students, I assign metamorphic rocks, which have much more abstract origins. Then, I tell each student the name and type of rock they will be writing about. I might also tell them a little about how the rock was formed,or I might ask them to research to find out the origins. Next, it's their turn to write a story from the rock's point of view, detailing how they were "born". Example:

    I was comfortably asleep in my home, when suddenly it started to rumble, shake, and roar. I woke up and looked around to see all my other family members looking around with fear. "Here we go again," I heard my grandfather say. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. Smoke and the sun's rays were in my eyes. I couldn't see where I was going, but I knew my body was changing. I was no longer a metamorphic rock, I had become pumice, an igneous rock that cools very quickly while flying through the air during a volcanic eruption. This was terrible! A few years ago, a cousin of mine had become pumice, and now he was being used to scrub the feet of humans! Finally, I landed in close to a river, which made me feel better. If only I could become sediment in the cool, river bottom. Now that would be the life.

    This was written by a fifth grade student. But be forewarned: Don't expect this kind of work from everyone. The students can then illustrate their stories, and you can bind them together in a class book. I titled mine "Rocky Autobiographies". Finally, place it in the classroom library for all to enjoy over and over again!

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