browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

The Power of Observation and Wonder

Posted by on September 27, 2015

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

~Edwin Powell Hubble

We are in FULL swing with our inquiry into Rocks and Minerals! We began this adventure by drawing and labeling what we thought the inside of the earth looked like. After this, we each brought in THREE rocks. Not just ANY kind of rocks … they had to be FOUND rocks. Not polished. Not purchased from a store. Nothing more than rocks that have “caught our eyes” … picked up as we’ve walked to school, played in the play park, discovered in our yards or on the river bank!

Bragg Creek is a WONDERFUL spot to look for rocks! You MAY even SURPRISE yourself by finding a FOSSIL or two!

Bragg Creek is a WONDERFUL spot to look for rocks! You MAY even SURPRISE yourself by finding a FOSSIL or two!

Last week, while waiting for our SmartBoard to be replaced, we shared a space with the Grade Sixes! During our morning, hanging out in their extra learning space, we spent time observing our rocks with our eyes. Together, we created a list of words to describe our rocks. We ADDED to this amazing list after looking at our rocks even CLOSER with MAGNIFYING glasses!

LOOK at all the AMAZING words we came up with to describe our "found" rocks!

LOOK at all the AMAZING words we came up with to describe our “found” rocks!

That morning, we spent a GLORIOUS time SKETCHING our rocks, observing them and labeling them like SCIENTISTS do!

We tried SO hard to make our sketches look JUST like our rocks ... with all KINDS of descriptive words to DESCRIBE them!

We tried SO hard to make our sketches look JUST like our rocks … with all KINDS of descriptive words to DESCRIBE them!

What follows are some of our thoughts as we BEGIN our investigation of rocks:

“I wonder if two volcanoes made an island and they touched and then another volcano erupted in the middles, what would happen? I wonder if every island was made by a volcano. I wonder why volcanoes shoot lava. I wonder why volcanoes erupt. I wonder if mountains have lava.” ~Daniel B

“I never knew that rocks came from volcanoes. Rocks are in the school walls.” ~Carson

We couldn't BELIEVE how many more tiny little details we were able to see with our MAGNIFYING glasses!

We couldn’t BELIEVE how many more tiny little details we were able to see with our MAGNIFYING glasses!

“I learned that new islands can start under water. I wonder why they do? When the molten lava hits the air it hardens and makes new land! Isn’t that cool? Did you know that the lava is SO hot that it melts the earth’s crust? When the lava touches the water it makes a sizzling sound because the lava is SO hot. I wonder how crystals get formed? I never knew that our school is made out of rocks as well as our homes! Bill Nye showed us how the earth’s plates move using cookies!” ~Elise

“I did not know that there was under water volcanoes. There was rocks like minerals. Volcanoes can explode melted rocks. I bet that there are volcanoes in the ocean. Under water volcanoes can make islands. Who knew that a volcano can do that?” ~Kagan

“Not all volcanoes are above water. Underwater volcanoes create islands. Magma is melted rock. Lava sizzles when it touches water. What is the biggest and most powerful volcano on Earth? What is the tallest underwater volcano?” ~Tanek

Each rock was SO different. What words would YOU use to describe these rocks?

“I didn’t know jewels and crystals were so much way underground! I was thinking. If I go underground and find two aquamarines, one garnet and one opal or a tourmaline, then I would make a necklace, because me and my mom have the same birthday. We each got aquamarines! My sister has a mineral. She has a greenish dusty coloured mineral. And even more, she has real diamonds, crystals and more! She DID NOT find those in caves or something. She found it on or kind of underground. I can’t believe she found those!” ~Cathy

“We just finished watching a Bill Nye show and I wonder how long it takes a rock to form. I think it takes a 100 years to make a volcanic rock. I discovered that some fossils are really fragile. I found out in school that it takes thousands of years for all that pressure to push a fossil to get in a rock. I found out that when lava hits cold water it makes a sizzling sound.” ~Matt

“There are scientists that are called geologists. They study on rocks and minerals. These are the rocks that scientists study most: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. It’s amazing how rocks have a cycle called the rock cycle. Rocks have been here for one million years or more! It’s really cool how rocks have patterns on their bodies. It’s amazing how scientists identify rocks. For example, they can identify volcanic rock by looking at the tiny holey bubbles made from a hot liquid called molten lava. It’s super cool how metamorphic rock can change in a circle as the wind storms, floods or sand storms push down to turn it into a new rock.” Riddhima

We used special shading techniques and even the points of our pencils in order to capture details!

We used special shading techniques and even the points of our pencils in order to capture details!

“I wonder how mud balls press so hard on a fish or something else, (to become a fossil). Lava is a hot liquid that may spray out on land or water. If a volcano is in the water it can create new islands. When the lava hits the water it cools down, but it doesn’t turn to rock really really fast. But, I still wonder if the land reaches to the sea floor dis it kill the sea animals. Will there be new life? Land volcanoes have lava rising to the top. The hot pressure can push the lid off the top.” ~Ethan

“I never knew that sandstone was easily broken because it was made 100% out of sand and pressure. It’s amazing that a volcano makes diamonds because most of the time diamond is crystal clear. Bill Nye told us that if you ever see a rock with little holes all over you found a volcanic rock and that all the little holes were made from bubbles. I wonder how exactly soil is made?” ~Aimee

“Sometimes plates shift or move, creating volcanoes. Oops, we watched a magic school bus video. In the video they went in a volcano and they came out again. It was fun learning about the earth. I never knew that there were three types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary, and that ROCKS! I wonder if rocks can change colour?” ~Cooper

We wonder how OLD these rocks are!!!

We wonder how OLD these rocks are!!!

“I never knew that soil had rocks in it. Did you? When a volcano explodes, new land and rock comes in. Everywhere you look a rock is there. The school is made out of rock. Even windows. That is SO cool! This is my wonder. Where do rocks come from? Rocks come from the mountains, the beaches, they are everywhere. Did you know that rocks come from the mountains, beaches and the road? I did!” ~Alexia

“There are a lot of types of rocks, like in volcanoes, and they are everywhere. They are made from sand. Can you believe it? Rocks are cool to look at too. Isn’t that cool? Rocks are everywhere. There are some in the water or in the mountains too.” ~Aboudi

“Wow. I did not know that our school is made of rock. Oh! We just finished watching Bill Nye Rocks and Soil. It was so awesome. I will tell you about it! Bill told us that the little holes in the rock were bubbling in a volcano! Some rocks look like one rock but that rock was just off a BIG rock and another weird thing is that a boy in the show showed us how to make crystals. I wonder if soil is made out of rock? Or, is rock made out of soil? Wonder, wonder. What do I wonder? How do crystals get made?” Mary

We wonder if these rocks are the SAME as the first time they BECAME rocks … or … if they have been through the rock cycle SEVERAL times?

“Sometimes the volcano gets plugged with a big rock and the magma comes out the side. Sometimes volcanoes make new islands because it starts as an under water volcano. The magma pushes it up and it explodes. When the magma is up in the air it turns into a rock. Then, grass grows on it. I love inside the earth. We are studying inside the earth too. I wonder how some rocks are see-through. Well, I think the rocks and sand smoosh together. I wonder how crystals are made and form? I wonder … can rock help the earth?” Evan

“Wow! What a great Bill Nye video. I sure learned a lot. The thing that I found interesting was that whatever you’re standing on is all rocks. Even the school walls, floor and roof. I also learned that if you find a rock with holes in it then it might be a rock from a volcano. I wonder how many million years it takes for a rock to form?” ~Jamie

I didn’t know that there were bigger rocks when you go deeper and deeper! Also, I didn’t know that the rocks push each other and make a smooth rock. Also, I didn’t expect when there is a volcano, there is a rock that has many holes. I wonder if a new rock will be made. I wonder if there are new plants? Also, I wonder if a volcano explodes, if something other than rocks or an island can be made?” ~Ella

Check out some of the AWESOME words we used to describe our rocks!

Check out some of the AWESOME words we used to describe our rocks!

“Today when we watched Bill Nye I discovered that sand and soil are part rock. I also discovered that schools and glasses are made of rock! That totally rocks!!! Get it?!? I also wonder a few things. I never knew that the mantle is SOLID!” ~Daniel S

“Wow! I never knew rocks could be made by water, mud and rock. Rocks can be all shapes and sizes. Rocks can be different colours too! I wonder how long it takes for a rock to be made, (not lava).” ~Carissa

“When a volcano explodes, it makes a new land because the magma pushes the volcano up. Every time it explodes it goes higher. I didn’t know that sandstone is breakable. Lava makes rock because lava is melted rock. When the lava dries it turns to rock.” ~Alvin

“I didn’t know that volcanoes can be under in the water. When a volcano erupts it makes a new land. It takes a long time to erupt. I can’t believe how many volcanoes there are. I didn’t know that lava is rock … it is MELTED rock. Did you know that you are SITTING on ROCK?” ~Madison

Sorting those words into specific categories was MORE challenging than we THOUGHT it would be!

Sorting those words into specific categories was MORE challenging than we THOUGHT it would be!

“I did not know that there could be underwater earthquakes. Volcanic ash, pumice, rock all come out … making NEW rock! Did you know that there is underwater mountains? Did you know that there is something called black smokers? Did you know every volcano has a magma chamber? I didn’t know about the two science cookies. They represent different plates of the earth. How many rocks are on earth? Did you know that especially pine trees like rocky grounds? Do volcanoes ever stop working? Is sandstone the only rock to break down?” ~Ryan

“I wonder what makes a volcano a volcano and how long it takes for the volcano to form. I didn’t know that there were underwater volcanoes. I also didn’t know that there were underwater earthquakes.” ~Sarah

“I never knew that rocks make soil. I discovered that rocks were in sand. Did you know rocks were like billions and billions and billions of years old? The whole world is pretty much made of rock. Rocks use to be made of liquid lava. After it dries up it turns into hard rock. I wonder why volcanoes shoot out lava and then something else. How do volcanoes make lava? How does lava turn into rock? How do volcanoes get into water?” ~Simos

I do not think we will EVER look at rocks in the SAME way we did BEFORE this inquiry!

I do not think we will EVER look at rocks in the SAME way we did BEFORE this inquiry!

“Did you know that there are different kinds of rocks? There is metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary. Did you know that rocks can change … but it would take millions of years. Guess what! If you find a bunch of little dots in rocks it could be coral? If you mix a soft rock with lava, the lava will just melt through!” ~Mila

“IΒ never knew that some rocks changed after a long time. Did you know that igneous means hot, (fire)? did you know that the earth changes all the time? I did not know that there is steam in the ocean. I wonder how minerals are formed?” ~Omar

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We HOPE you enjoy the SLIDESHOW of our learning adventure:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

We wonder:

  • What do YOU wonder about rocks?

10 Responses to The Power of Observation and Wonder

  1. Jo-Ann

    Who knew rocks could be so interesting?! Amazing sketches!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Jo-Ann!

      Thanks for the nice comment! We had a LOT of fun observing and sketching our rocks! We wonder if YOU have a favourite rock or a rock collection?

      The Grade Three Bloggers πŸ™‚

  2. Jen

    What a great rock study! It looks like so much fun. With the planet Mars in the news, it has me wondering what type of rocks might be found there?

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Jen!

      We are wondering what types of rock might be on Mars too! Thanks for leaving us an awesome comment! Some of us think it would be fun to do a mini inquiry to find out more about the rocks on Mars!

      The Grade Three Bloggers πŸ™‚

  3. Irene

    Such interesting questions! I hope you find the answers and share them with us.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Irene!

      Thank you for the comment! If you keep checking our blog, you MAY find some of the answers because we will be doing more blog posts about our discoveries!

      The Grade Three Bloggers πŸ™‚

  4. David

    I wonder who has walked across the rocks that I have walked across. Did a hunter from 10 000 years ago walk on the same rocks or did a child just pick up that rock?

  5. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hi David!

    Thanks for the great comment! We think the SAME thing! We like to explore rocks! Many rocks are millions of years old. These rocks might have seen settlers or First Nations people or even a wooly mammoth, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/woolly-mammoth-remains-in-michigan-draw-hundreds-to-farmer-s-barn-1.3258269

    Thanks for making us think!

    The Grade Three Bloggers πŸ™‚

  6. Jimmi

    Hi Class,
    What a lot of great information you are learning about rocks! It’s amazing that so many things are made of rocks. I have been reading about some of the man made wonders of the world that are included in the latest TIME magazine. Many of these are made from rock, including Stonehenge, the pyramids, the Great Wall of China and many amazing cathedrals. I am even more amazed by some of these structures when I think about how much work was involved in moving or shaping enormous rocks or cliff faces given the limited tools that were available at the time. I wonder how many people it took and what tools they used to erect the rocks at Stonehenge?

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hello Jimmi!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! It really got our WONDERS up! Some of us had heard about SOME of the places you mentioned, but many of us had not … so … we decided to do a little further investigating! We found some great links to help us out:

      Stonehenge: http://www.coolfactsforkids.com/stonehenge-facts-for-kids/
      Egyptian pyramids: http://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egyptian_pyramids.php
      Great Wall of China: http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/great_wall_of_china.php
      Stone cathedrals: we couldn’t find any really awesome sites for kids that would help us with this one … maybe one of our readers can!
      Easter Island: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/easterisland.html (this one came up because of our conversation about Stonehenge!)
      Petra: http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-jordan/ (this one came up because of our conversation about stone cathedrals!)

      We can’t even BEGIN to imagine how hard it would have been to build these things without having RONA down the street! The right tools make EVERY job easier! One of us had heard that some early cultures built and used their own pulley systems … we saw how powerful a pulley system can be when our SmartBoard was being replaced. The cement block in the SmartBoard weighed 75 pounds. That’s heavier than many of the grade three bloggers! But, the SmartBoard lifted up and down really easily … like it was less than 5 pounds because it was on a pulley system! One of us even saw a guy lift a CAR with a pulley. That’s amazing!

      The Grade Three Bloggers πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply