This term, Year 3 have extended their learning about the formation of Rocks and Fossils through our Rocks and Fossils Day. Mr Cartwright, a geologist, brought his extensive collection of rocks and fossils for Year 3 to examine. Some of the rocks were out of this world – literally! We were very excited to hold part of a meteorite which we discovered was magnetic! We were also a little shocked and disgusted to learn that one rock that we had been passing around wasn’t a rock at all but was, in fact coprolite (fossilised dinosaur poo!).
In museums fossils are often behind glass cabinets but our visiting museum allowed us to handle many different types of fossil – cast fossils, mould fossils and trace fossils. We marvelled at fossils from a woolly mammoth – a tusk and an enormous vertebra! We held a large tooth from a woolly rhino, examined a complete fossilised fish and learned about the strange and wonderful creatures that roamed the earth and swam in the oceans thousands and thousands of years ago. The highlight for many of us was the chance to hold a hadrosaur egg.
As part of our rocks and fossils day we learned how cast, mould and trace fossils are formed and had a go at making our own cast and mould fossils with plasticine and plaster of paris, which was great fun and a little messy!
The children learned how to identify different sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks using a scientific key and worked well in small teams discussing the different properties of the rocks that they were given to identify.
Since Rocks and Fossils day, the children have been extending their learning in science and geography by learning how soils are formed, studying different types of soil and their properties. We have investigated the permeability of compost, sandy soil and loam and made some surprising discoveries as we timed the rate at which the water passed through different types of soil. Last week the children put all their learning into practise by designing their own soil recipes for a worm restaurant.
Following on from our work on igneous rocks, the children have been learning about the formation of volcanoes in geography lessons and have produced fabulous descriptive writing about volcanoes inspired by our English lessons based on “The Pebble in my Pocket”.
We have many sharp-eyed budding geologists and palaeontologists in Year 3. It has been lovely to see so many children bringing in their own collections of rocks and polished stones as well as geodes and fossils they have found on beaches.
Rock on Year 3!