Integrated Science/Language Arts Grade 4
Unit: If Rocks Could Talk
Purposes: Rocks and Minerals, Reading for Information,Reading and Writing Informational Texts Personification, Fluency
Essential Questions: Where do rocks come from? What can rocks tell us?

In this unit, students uncover the mystery of a rock that they have found somewhere in Connecticut or a rock selected from grade 4 collection. Using observation, property tests, books, and Internet sites, students identify their rock and the conditions under which it was formed. Using personification picture books as mentor texts, students write and perform an informational personification "podcast" starring their rocks. Option: Create a green screen movie of If Rocks Could Talk starring the rocks.

Desired Results
Established Goals:

Common Core State Standards: Language Arts
Reading Standards
9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Writing Standards
Production and Distribution of Writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
Range of Writing
10.Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.
Language Standards K-5
Conventions of Standard English
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
    • Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
Speaking and Listening Standards
4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

CT Science Framework
3.3.a. Rocks and minerals have properties that may be identified through observation and testing; these properties determine how earth materials are used.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

Connecticut Mastery Test Objectives
B5. Describe the physical properties of rocks and relate them to their potential uses.
B6. Relate the properties of rocks to the possible environmental conditions during their formation.

D1 Analyze and evaluate the author’s craft, including use of literary devices (such as simile, metaphor, imagery, and personification) and/or textual elements (non-fiction).

Grade Level Expectations
CT Grade 4 Science
-Differentiate between rocks and minerals.
-Use the senses and simple measuring tools to gather data about various rocks and classify them based on observable properties (e.g., shape, size, color, weight, visible markings).
-Conduct simple tests to determine properties of different minerals (e.g., color, odor, streak, luster, hardness, magnetism), organize data in a table, and use the data and other resources to identify unknown mineral specimens.
-Summarize nonfiction text to compare and contrast the conditions under which igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks are formed.
-Observe and analyze rock properties (e.g., crystal size or layers) to infer the conditions under which the rock was formed.
-Evaluate the usefulness of different rock types for specific applications (e.g., buildings, sidewalks, stone walls, statues or monuments).
Enduring Understandings
Essential Questions
Rocks and minerals emerge from the ever-changing earth.
Studying rocks can reveal the past and determine their usefulness for specific applications.
Where do rocks come from?
What can rocks tell us?

The student will know..The difference between rocks and minerals
Rock have properties
Rocks can be classified and identified
The conditions under which rocks are formed determine their type
The properties of rocks determine their usefulness
The students will be able to...Differentiate (between rocks and minerals)
Use senses/simple measuring tools (to gather data)
Classify (rocks based on observable properties)
Conduct (simple tests to determine properties)
Organize data (in a table)
Use data/resources (to identify unknown rocks)
Summarize (nonfiction text)
Compare and contrast (the conditions under which rocks were formed)
Evaluate (the usefulness of rock types)
Speaking clearly and fluently
Appropriate facts/Relevant details
Integrate information (from two texts)
Speak or write about topic knowledgeably
Use (appropriate facts and relevant descriptive details)
Report (on a topic)
Speak clearly at an understandable pace
Recognize and explain (meaning of common idioms)

Content Vocabulary

Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks

If Rocks Could Talk Podcast or Video
Formative Assessments
Rocks and Minerals Anticipation Guide
Property Test Recording Sheet
Science Journal and Foldables
3 Types of Rocks Comparison Matrix:
Exit Cards

Summative Assessments
Blue Ribbon

Student Self-Assessments
Learning Plan
Teaching Strategies
Books About Rocks and Minerals
If You Find a Rock
The Rock Factory
Geology Rocks
The Pebble in My Pocket
Rocks in His Head

Informational Personification Books
Cave by Diane Siebert
Barn by Debbie Atwell
Dear Children of the Earth by Schim Schimmel


Discovery Education Streaming Videos
Rocks and Minerals Teacher's Manual
Rock Kits in Science Closet
Everybody Needs a Rock (SMART Notebook file on H Drive)
Nonlinear Representations
Cooperative Learning
Generating and Testing Hypothesis
Setting Goals and Providing Feedback
Ask each student to bring in a rock that he/she found.
The rock must be found in Connecticut and fit in the child's hand.

Read Everybody Needs a Rock (Smart Notebook file on the H Drive)

Frontloading Activities
These introductory activities help connect to and build students' background knowledge.
What do we know about rocks? Where do rocks come from? In this introductory activity, students respond to the essential question in small groups, tapping into their background knowledge.
Numbered Heads Together
Generating Questions Students generate questions that they have about rocks and minerals.
Numbered Heads Together
Artifact Bags Students learn about their classmates while they role-play archaeologists who study artifacts.
Artifact Bag
Learning About Rocks and Minerals
Learning Activities
Lesson 1. Introduction: The Mysterious Rock
Students are told that They are going to be scientific detectives and solve the mystery of their rocks. Every rock has a story to tell! Where did your rock come from? You know where you found it, but how did it get there? What kind of rock is it?
Students will begin by observing and carefully drawing a detailed picture of the rock and a magnified closeup of the rock. They will display their rocks in a display case Foldable and fill out a class Rock Chart.
One rock for each student
81/2 x 11 Drawing paper
Magnifying glasses
My Rock Chart.doc
Class Rock Chart (copy onto large chart paper)
Lesson 2: Using Observable Properties to Describe and Sort Rocks
After reading about ways to categorize rocks in the book If You Find a Rock,
students will work in small groups and first sort rocks by observable properties. After that small groups will record words to describe color, shape, texture, weight, and odor of each specimen. Students will then use words to describe their rock's texture, color, shape and size in writing.
If You Find a Rock
Collections of rocks
DSM II Activity 1
Lesson 3-5: Mineral Property Tests
Small groups of students will be provided minerals and perform a variety of property tests, recording and sharing the results. After each test, they will test their own rock, if applicable.
Discovery Education Video: What Exactly are Minerals?
BrainPopJr- Rocks and Minerals
Digital Camera
Mineral Test Recording Sheets (DSM II Teacher's Manuel)
Collection of Minerals (from DSM II kit)
Performance Task: Bookr Science Journal As a performance task, students will write about their experiments on Bookr, using photos taken during the mineral testing.
Photos taken during property tests
Lesson 6-8: 3 Types of Rocks
Students will compare and contrast 3 types of rocks as they learn about them through books, websites, videos and hands-on experiments.
Geology Rocks
Brain Pop- Types of Rocks
The Rock Family Reunion
How Rocks are Formed
Discovery Education Video: 3 Rocks
Lesson 9: What Kind of Rock Am I?
Using information learned so far, a Connecticut Geology map, and information and photos of the rocks found in Connecticut, students will identify what kind of rock they believe they have found, supporting their claim with factual evidence. They will post their conclusion to the Wall Wisher sticky wall.
Connecticut Geologic Map
Connectictut Rocks Project Wiki
Sticky Wall Post.doc
Language Activity: Idioms and Words with Multiple Meanings
After reading the book More Parts, students will create a class Foldable of rock related idioms and rock related words with multiple meanings. As students are learning about different types of rocks, they will continue to collect rock words and phrases that have more than one meaning and idioms. Examples: petrified, rock, blow your top, cracking up
More Parts
Stone Sayings
Rock Idioms.pdf
The Idiom Game
Eye on Idioms
Brainpop Idioms and Cliches
Lesson 10: The Rock Cycle
Students are introduced to the rock cycle through a picture book and interactive website.
The Rock Factory
The Rock Cycle Interactive Diagram
Discovery Education Video: Earth Science- The Basics 3-5 (The Rock Cycle)
Climbing Through the Rock Cycle
Lesson 10: Uses of Rocks and Minerals
In small groups, students discuss and evaluate what different types of rocks could be used for, using evidence to support their conclusions. After students learn about the variety of ways rocks are used today, they identify what their rock could be used for.
Rock Expert
Discovery Education Video: Uses of Rocks and Minerals
Performance Assessment: If Rocks Could Talk Podcast or Green Screen Video
Lesson 1: Introduction to If Rocks Could Talk Podcast or Green Screen
Students are introduced to the project. They are told that they will be giving their own rocks a voice so that they can teach the world about themselves.
If doing a green screen, their job is to write an interview with their rock, make the rock costume, draw the background and rehearse the script. Using green screen video editing, their interview is filmed. This is a great way to introduce students to the concept of green screen technology.
The Rock Family Reunion
If Rocks Could Talk
Lesson 2: Author's Craft Inquiry
Students read like writers, examining personification picture books and filling out a class inquiry chart. Students will discuss how they can use this type of writing in their podcasts/video scripts.
Cave by Diane Siebert
Barn by Debbie Atwell
Dear Children of the Earth by Schim Schimmel
Personification Inquiry.pdf
Lesson 3: Guided Practice: Personification Podcast Script
After reading the picture book, The Pebble in My Pocket, the class will write a script together for the pebble.
The Pebble in My Pocket
If Rocks Could Talk Scoring Guide
I Am a Rock.doc
If Rocks Could Talk
Lesson 4: Writing Personification Scripts
Students plan using the I Am a Rock planning sheet and write their scripts for their podcasts/videos using the writing process.
If Rocks Could Talk Script Scoring Guide
Lesson 5: Learning How to Record (If doing Podcasts)
Students learn how to record on the iPods by reading a poem of their choosing.
Poetry Books
iPods and Recorders
Lesson 6: Recording the Podcasts or Video
Students listen to and evaluate some student created podcasts/videos. The class discusses what they liked and what could make them better, using the ideas to inform their own class podcast. Then students record their podcasts or film their videos.
Sample Podcasts
iPods and Recorders