Teaching Earth Science With Children’s Literature: I am a Rock

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I am a Rock, written by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Judith Moffatt, is a good book for introducing earth science o young students (K-1) because it explains different kinds of rocks through a “Rock Hall of Fame” theme and what many of their functions are in real life.  The descriptions of what the rocks’ uses are are given in a riddle format, where the students are given clues as to what the rock can do and then they are asked to guess what rock it is.  For example, the book introduces slate by saying ” I [slate] am flat enough to walk on. I am flat enough to write on. Who am I?” Here the students can answer or guess what rock they think is being described.  A total of twelve different rocks are described in this fashion throughout the book.Curriculum Connections
This book is useful in introducing students to the concept of earth science in the early grades.  The students learn that rocks are important parts of the earth and actually all have different uses depending on what they’re made of and what they look like.

Additional Resources

  • This is a 3-day long activity for first grade students to do with their teacher, where each student gets their own special “rock” made from dough that the teacher prepares.  The students will describe what their rocks look like to their fellow classmates, write down observations, and do Internet activities where they pretend to be archaeologists.
  • Here is a lesson along the same lines, but the students get to use real rocks and go outside for 20 to 30 minutes to do their observations of different rocks.  They would also get to work in groups.
  •  I found this interesting because it came up in my search as a site where teachers can buy rock kits for their classrooms.  Some are pricey, but it would probably be very helpful to buy a kit in order to really show the students a variety of different types of rocks.

Book: I am a Rock
Author: Jean Marzollo
Illustrators: Judith Moffatt
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 1998
Pages:  29
Grade Range: K-1
ISBN: 0-590-37222-X