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Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and Minerals

13-24 (5 weeks)

In the Rocks and Minerals unit, students investigate properties of rocks and minerals as they consider questions related to use of our natural resources. Physical properties of individual specimens, such as luster, hardness, and color are investigated, as are main rock types - sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic - and how rocks change from one form to another in the rock cycle.


Content in Rocks and Minerals is organized into 12 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
12. Observing Natural Resources Investigation Students examine and rank four natural resources from most to least valuable.
13. Diamond Dilemma Lab Students gather data on an unidentified mineral that appears to be a diamond.
14. Analyzing Diamond Data Problem Solving Students compare data on the unidentified mineral to that of four known materials and then identify the sample as fluorite.
15. Mineral Properties Reading A reading on minerals and their properties introduces the idea that rocks are made of minerals.
16. Mineral Identification Lab Students design an investigation to identify an unknown mineral.
17. The Minerals in Rocks Lab Students test a single property to determine whether the mineral found in two different rock samples is calcite or quartz.
18. Every Rock Tells a Story Talking it Over Students analyze a fictional newspaper story that describes the alleged discovery of diamonds in a national forest.
19. Rock Formation Reading The formation of the three rock types is explained in the context of coal, kimberlite, and marble formation.
20. Identifying Rock Types Lab Students observe and identify rocks as igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic.
21. Modeling Rock Layers Modeling Students model the formation of sedimentary rock layers by dropping plastic chips into a cylinder.
22. The Rock Cycle Game Investigation Students play a game that models the rock cycle.
23. Making Minerals Talking it Over Students evaluate data on mined vs. manufactured diamonds and discuss their relative values.

LAB-AIDS® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Rocks and Minerals unit:

Rocks and Minerals

Student Book

The Rocks and Minerals soft cover Student Book guides investigations and provides related readings. The Student Book uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

The built-in assessment system helps teacher’s identify students’ strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the course. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science.

Rocks and Minerals

LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook in SEPUP is strongly recommended. The journal not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook is 112 three-hole punched pages which allow students to store the completed pages in their binder. It has a 2 column design and plenty of room for notes and responses to Analysis Questions. Graph Anywhere allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time. The Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind.

Rocks and Minerals

Complete Materials Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP. Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.

Rocks and Minerals

Teacher's Guide

The Rocks and Minerals Teacher’s Guide takes you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher’s Guide is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Guide provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Guide.

Rocks and Minerals

Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing and finally Comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System.

Rocks and Minerals

Books Online

Individual, classroom or district licenses can be purchased for access to our student books on-line. It features editable Word documents for each set of Activity Assessment Questions which allows students to e-mail their finished work back to the teacher. Microsoft Word® Tools provide strong support for diverse learners. The Spelling and Grammar Checker uses red and green underline squiggles representing spelling (red) and grammar (green) errors alerting students to potential errors. The thesaurus helps to refine writing as well as expose students to new vocabulary words. Students with poor spelling skills often have difficulty using a dictionary. This feature provides an instant definition for a highlighted word, eliminating the task of dictionary look-up. Students can also use the Thesaurus to find the synonyms of words.

All pages were created using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A great feature of the Adobe program is “The Read Aloud Function”. The program audibly reads the text, allowing the student to follow the reading on the page. You can speed up or slow down the program based on the student’s ability. This helps all students increase their vocabulary.

Rocks and Minerals

ExamView® Test Generating Software

ExamView® for Issues & Earth Science makes it easier for educators to use your content to assess, track, and analyze student performance. Comprised of the Test Generator, Test Manager, and Test Player, ExamView® is the industry standard for paper, Internet, and LAN‐based question and test development.

Test Generator Educators can create assessments, quizzes, study guides, and worksheets using multiple question formats, pictures, tables, graphs, charts, and other multimedia elements. Works exclusively with eInstruction’s CPS™ student response systems for real‐time results.

Test Manager Educators collect results and generate comprehension reports in minutes. Test Manager also manages class rosters and automatically collects performance data from the school network to analyze student results and identify areas of concern.

Test Player Gives students the ability to take tests and view study guides over the school network. ExamView® adds even more benefits to your content.

QuickTest Wizard New tests can be created in a matter of minutes with easy step‐by‐step navigation. Simply select the question banks and the number of questions and ExamView® does the rest.

Style Gallery ExamView® tests can be easily formatted to match state or national standardized tests. Simply choose a layout based on predefined formats (e.g., TAKS, FCAT, GED, GMAT, NCLEX, etc.) and print a comprehensive answer sheet.

Multiple Question Formats ExamView® supports 14 question formats. An ExamView® question can contain pictures, graphs, charts, tables, and other multimedia elements. You can create dynamic questions (algorithms) for any subject area which allow infinite customization of a question using mathematical definitions.

Ancillaries

Rocks and Minerals Item # Price Quantity
IAES Unit B Online Student Portal License IAES-UB-2OLSP-7 $7.00
STUDENT BOOK (softcover) IAES-UB-2SB $34.50
TEACHER’S EDITION AND RESOURCES (printed copy) IAES-UB-2TETR $115.50
LAB-AIDS SCIENCE LAB NOTEBOOK (bulk pricing up to 55% off) SLN-1 $8.95