While enjoying my trip to the beach this weekend, I began to pay attention to the rocks on the shoreline. These rocks tell a story. As I sat here contemplating the rocks and how I could use this scenery in a lesson, I kept coming back to these three words: mystery, story, event.
When a person views the landscape, many questions might arise. How did the rocks get there? Why are some of the stripes at an angle? What made them different colors? Why are there so many different appearing rocks? These, and many other questions, can be a starting point for a dive into the many science-based concepts. In some ways, there is mystery surrounding these rocks and the questions our students can ask. The beauty, though, is the mystery can be solved! The rocks tell a story.
Moving from mystery to story, the science of the rocks begins to unfold. The rocks have been in this place for a length of time. The elements in the rocks tell us something about the history of the place. The shape, angle, fossils within, surface features, all connect to processes of geology. The rocks can tell us a story, and that story can uncover events.
Events help students relate science to history, and the rocks are a physical connection between the two. This is not abstract, but real, visible, tangible.
Do students make these connections on their own? Do you ponder as I do? I think I want to take my students to the beach! 🙂