Activity 8:
A Rock in my Pocket

Herman E. Calloway liked to pick up rocks. He put the date and place on each rock such as chicago il. 3.19.32 Have you ever collected rocks? Mr. C. just called them common rocks, but what kind of rocks was he likely to find in Michigan. What if his travels took him to different parts of the United States?


Swap rocks with students in other schools.

Process and Resources

  1. Before you can swap rocks with other schools, you need to know a little about rocks. The three rock groups are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Read about each type of rock. Explore the Rocky the Rockhound site and learn about collecting rocks. Try identifying some rocks.
  2. What's a gemstone? How are they different from other rocks? Are there any gemstones in your area?
  3. Did you know that rocks are like food? Of course you don't eat rocks, but sedimentary rocks are like sandwiches. Read about how granites are like ice cream. An analogy is finding a similarity between two things that are otherwise very different. Compare your rock to something in the rest of the world. Can you find any likenesses? Create an analogy, puzzle, or poem about your rock and will help people guess the type of rock. Share these with your e-partners.
  4. For a challenge, learn to read a geologic map at What is a geologic map?. Create a map showing the rocks that can be found in your area. What kind of rocks do you think Bud carried? Most of his rocks came from Illinois and Michigan.
  5. Join the Rock Swap project. If it's no longer active, create your own way to share rocks with another class. In the rock swap project, you share two or three rock specimens from your local area. You research the name of the rock, type of rock (sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous), and uses for the rock. Rocks are then shared and compared among schools looking for differences and similarities. Ideas are shared by email. Your project may even ask people to guess the type of rock and location.
  6. If you need help finding different types of rocks, use the websites below:
  • As a class, use a digital camera to take pictures of the tools used for rock collecting and your favorite rocks. Make a slide show.

Project Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for your analogy swap:

  • Your analogy should be based on similiarities between two things.
  • It should relate a rock to something else.

Use the following guidelines for your rock swap:

  • Log the location where the rock was found and a basic description
  • Be sure the rock is correctly identified by type and name

Use the following guidelines for creating your presentation:

  • Your photographs should be clear, focused, and detailed. They should have good contrast and brightness to show the real colors.
  • Your text should be short and descriptive. The fonts should be large enough to see at a distance.
  • Your layout should include adequate whitespace. Pictures and words should be balanced. The foreground and background colors should be readable.

Share your work at Franklin's Rock Formation page. It's a site to share student works in the categories of photos, prose, design, music, movies, research, poetry and artwork. Hold a rock show in your library to share your great work!

Teacher Resources
Student Resources

Developed by Annette Lamb, 3/00.