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Earth Materials
Recommended for Third Grade
Curricular Resource Used: Earth Materials Full Option Science Systems (FOSS)
Published by Delta Education
Description of the Module: The Earth Materials unit consists of four investigations
where students gain first hand experience and knowledge about twelve of the most
common rocks and minerals on Earth. Students learn that rocks are composed of
minerals whereas minerals are the same substance throughout. Students then classify
minerals and rocks according to properties such as color, hardness, and chemical
Earth Materials Big Ideas
The earth is made up of non-living
materials that can be described and
identified by their physical properties.
The physical properties determine the uses
for the earth materials.
The properties of earth materials can
undergo changes that can result in a
modification of some of the physical
Earth Materials Major Concepts
A rock is an earth material composed of
different ingredients called minerals.
An earth material has properties that can be
observed, such as, color, shape, texture,
and luster.
Hardness, a mineral property, is the
resistance of a mineral to being scratched.
Some materials, such as salt and alum,
dissolve when they are mixed with water
but reform when the water evaporates.
Higher Order Thinking Questions
You are given an unknown earth material. What tests will help you to learn more about
it? Develop a chart to record your test data and observations. (Calcite test, hardness,
evaporation test, color, luster, texture tests.)
What would be a good use of an earth material like granite? (A statue as it is hard,
durable, and attractive).
Describe the difference in the physical properties between a sedimentary rock like
limestone and a metamorphic rock like marble. (Limestone is layered, grainy, sandy, and
soft and marble is hard, attractive, and a good building product.)
Delaware Science Coalition Professional Development
Coalition Professional Development Hours: 15
Mini Course Hours: 6
Professional Development Product Requirements: Three-page reflection paper