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Rocks and Fossils

Rocks and Fossils

For the start of this topic we had a discussion what we already knew out Rocks and what we already knew about Fossils.

This is what we produced:

Then we became a Petrologist. 

A petrologist is somebody who studies different rocks and how the different rocks are formed. 


Our task was to identify different rocks from their appearance and how they felt when we touched them. 

We were not allowed to know the names of them until the very end. 

We worked in partners looking and feeling the different rocks to then draw and describe them. 


We used words like:

  • rough
  • smooth
  • shiny
  • dull
  • grainy
  • sandy

...and many more!

Through our fabulous drawings and description we were able to identify all 6 rocks. 

Miss Smith would read a description of one of the rocks as well as it's name and we would tell her what number that rock was to see if we got them right! 

The 6 rocks we identified were:

  • chalk
  • sandstone
  • marble
  • limestone
  • granite
  • slate


From the names, we knew we had heard of some of these rocks before! All of us had heard of chalk and marble and most of had heard of slate and granite because of what we may see at home or at school! 

We then looked to see where we have seen these rocks before. 

We never realised that the rocks we were investigating are literally everywhere! These pictures just show a few but they are all over school, outside of school and some are even in our kitchen!

We then sorted the different rocks into the different groups they may come under. These were:





We watched videos to show how these different groups of rocks are formed and the videos showed us some examples of each group and different ways to identify them. 

We also looked at which rocks were natural or man-made. We knew what this meant from our materials work in year 2. 


This grid below shows all the different rocks we tried to group. Some were much easier than others!

Then we looked at grouping these rocks even further. 

Rocks can be grouped for many different reasons including their appearance or how they may feel. 

We looked at how we group rocks depending on 2 things; their permeability and their density. 


These 2 words were very new to us so we came up with a key to help us throughout our investigation. 

Then came the fun part!

We used the rocks we had looked at in previous experiments to see if they were permeable or impermeable and to also look how dense they were. 

We put the rocks into the water and observed. We created a table of results to show our finding. 

Moving on from rocks, we then looked at the different soils and how soil is produced from the different rocks. 

The three soils we looked at were; chalk soil, loam soil and clay soil. 

The loam soil was the one we recognised most. 

For this investigation we needed to answer the question:

Which soil will be best to prevent flooding? 


We discussed that the water had to drain quickly through the soil in order for the soil to be a good choice. 


After careful examination of all the soils, the majority of the class picked loam soil to be the best one for draining the water away. How wrong we were!


Coming to the end of our Rocks and Fossils topic we got to have a go at making our own fossils. 

Obviously they weren't real fossils - but we had a go at making an imprint like some fossils do and also having a go at filling in the imprints in order to see how fossils are formed - relating this back to sedimentary rocks. 

Here are some pictures showing how we did this. 

To finish off we looked at some of our own rock collections. 

Many of us at home like to visit different places and collect our own little souvenirs from these places. Also, some of us are lucky enough to have own our rocks and minerals collection/kit. 


At home, Alex had also had a go at growing his own crystals. 

This is how they came out.