Curriculum Review | Geology

When putting together our unit study for geology, I assembled a variety of books, kits and projects. While we loved most of the activities and kits, the books we chose weren’t as successful. We read a lot. And most books were informative but not captivating. My 5th grader probably read 40 books in total (including the ones I read aloud to him), and yet nothing seemed to stick as well as the geology lapbook we did at the conclusion of our unit study and the earth scienceProfessor Noggins game we played throughout our unit. The activities we did were fun and informative, but I don’t think we learned too much more than the rock cycle and a smattering of info on volcanoes and the layers of the earth. To remedy this mediocre attempt at geology, I plan to do a follow up unit in the spring. This spring unit will only be about two weeks and will be a way to focus what learned (or should have learned) in this unit.

You can find a complete list of the materials we used along with pictures and lesson plans by clicking here.

 

Kits, projects and workbooks:

 

GeoCentral Igneous Rock Science Kit

Learn to identify 15 different rocks

Grades: 2nd and up

 

 

GeoCentral  Sedimentary Rock

Learn to identify 15 different rocks using a magnifier

Grades: 2nd grade and up

 

 

GeoCentral Metamorphic Rock

Learn to identify 15 different rocks using a magnifier

Grades: 2nd grade and up

 

 

GeoCentral Treasures of the Earth

Excavate different rocks through layers of the ‘earth’ in this kit

Grades:  2nd grade and up

 

 

Professor Noggin Geology card game

Multi -level trivia card game for elementary aged kids

Grades 2nd and up

 

Lyrical Earth Science Volume one-Geology workbook

Workbook pages with questions and answers, vocabulary, true and false, matching

Grades 5th and up

 

 

Lyrical Earth Science Volume one-Geology Book

Workbook style book with geologic topics

Grades 5th and up

 

Lyrical Earth Science Volume one-audio CD

Songs that accompany the workbook/book on geology

Grades 2nd  and up

 

 

Science Earth Science Activity Guide Curriculum Mastery Flip Charts

Large laminated flip chart with 10 activity topics from minerals and rocks to the solar system

Grade level: 6th and up

 

 

Tops Learning System Rocks and Minerals by Task Card Series grade 7-12

Activity kit with almost everything you need to perform multiple experiments/demonstrations using rocks and minerals

Grades 7-12

 

Discover Rock and Crystal Excavation Kit

Rock excavation kit by GeoCentral

Grade level: 1st and up

 

 

Crystal Mines Citrine & Rose Quartz Kit (D&D)

Dig, Discover and Display rock excavation kit

Grades 2nd and up

 

Crystal Mines Emerald & Topaz Kit(Dig & Disc)

Dig, Discover and Display rock excavation kit

Grades 2nd and up

 

 

Crystal Mines Quartz & Aquamarine Kit (D & D)

Dig, Discover and Display rock excavation kit

Grades 2nd and up

 

Volcano Excavation Kit

Rock excavating was never so much fun as this kit! You get to dig through a ‘volcano’ to discover the six igneous rocks hidden within.

Grades 2nd and up

 

Break Open Real Geodes:Worlds Best Geode Kit

I can’t think of something more exciting than choosing a rock and break or cutting it open to reveal the mysteries inside. This kit comes with geodes that can be broken open with a hammer.

Grades 2nd and up

 

 

Dinosaur Dig Kit (Excavation Kit)

Excavate dinosaur

 


 

Books:

 

Planet Earth by Ian James and Andrew Farmer

Illustrated “DK Eyewitness” style book with captions and small paragraphs. Very general book that covers a wide range of geological topics from plate movement to sand dunes. Great for read aloud or independent reading.

Grades 4th and up

Reading level: 6th and up

 

 

Eyewitness Books: Crystal and Gem

Not a ‘living book’ so it can get a little dry, yet this book is very informative and is packed with photos and captions.

Grade level:  6th and up

Reading level 8th and up

 

 

 

Eyewitness Books: Rocks and Minerals

Not a ‘living book’ so it can get a little dry, yet this book is very informative and is packed with photos and captions.

Grade level:  6th and up

Reading level 8th and up

 

The Geology Book by Dr. John D. Morris

Informative “textbook” that reads like a ‘living book’. Includes illustrations, photos and captions.

Grade level: 5th grade

Reading level: 6th grade

 

 

Volcanoes by Neil Morris

Simple information with many pictures.  Amount of text equals pictures so it’s a fast read.

Grade level: 2nd and up

Reading level: 4th and up

 

 

 

Science Close-up Minerals by Robert A. Bell and James Spence

A ‘Golden Book’ with 1980’s illustrations that are still current today.  Written as a narrative in an engaging simply manner. Packed with info.

Grade level: 2nd grade and up

Reading level 5th grade and up

 

 

Mountains and Volcanoes by Barbara Taylor

Geography facts and experiments. Easy projects with clear instructions. Simple read with beautiful illustrations.

Grade level: 2nd grade and up

Reading level: 4th grade and up

 

 

 

DK Eye Wonder Rocks and Minerals

Informative book with many photos. Not a ‘living book’. Filled with captions and pictures. Sometimes it’s hard to read this book from start to finish because it isn’t written as a narrative, but likewise, you can just read a section that pertains to the subject area you are studying.

Grade level: 4th grade and up

Reading level 6th grade and up

 

 

Grand Canyon Geology by L. Greer Price

Dense and informative with some illustrations. You have to be really interested in the subject area to finish this book.

Grade level: 8th grade and up

Reading level: 8th grade and up

 

 

 

 

DK Eyewitness Explorers Rocks and Minerals

Engaging read with simple projects and beautiful illustrations

Grade level: 3rd grade and up

Reading level: 6th grade and up

 

 

Why Do Diamonds Sparkle? All About Earth’s Resources by Helen Bethune

Quick read with questions and answers, biographies and information with pictures

Grade level: 3rd and up

Reading level 4th and up

 

 

The World of Rocks and Minerals by William B. Rice

Simple read with illustrations and pictures. Contains vocabulary words and simple labs

Grade level: 3rd grade and up

Reading level: 5th grade and up

 

 

Volcanoes by William B. Rice

Simple read with illustrations and pictures. Contains vocabulary words and simple labs

Grade level: 3rd grade and up

Reading level: 5th grade and up

 

 

Rocks by Sally M. Walker

Simple read with many illustrations, large print chapter book

Grade level 2nd and up

Reading level 4th and up

 

 

Fossils by Sally M. Walker

Simple read with many illustrations, large print chapter book

Grade level 2nd and up

Reading level 4th and up

 

 

Minerals by Sally M. Walker

Simple read with many illustrations, large print chapter book

Grade level 2nd and up

Reading level 4th and up

 

 

Let the Rocks Cry Out by Sandy Queen

Curriculum based on the Charlotte Mason philosophy

Grade level: 7th and up

 

 


 

Picture books:

 

A Rock is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Beautifully illustrated book written in an informative simple  style

Grade level: 1st and up

Reading level: 6th and up

If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian with Photographs by Barbara Hirsch Lember

Simply written with little science introduced in an easy way.

Grade level: KG and up

Reading Level: 4th grade and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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