Exploring Earth`s Resources

 Lesson: Exploring Earth’s Resources
Grade Level:
Subject Area :
Core Area:
Lesson Objective:
Grade One
Earth Science
Earth’s Natural Resources
Students will learn about properties of Earth resources as they compare,
contrast, and sort these resources. Students will investigate how Earth
resources are used in building materials and for growing plants.
2005 Standards Correlation:
Grade 1
Standard 1-4:
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the properties of Earth materials.
Indicators addressed:
1-4.1 Recognize the composition of Earth (including rocks, sand, soil, and water).
1-4.2 Classify rocks and sand by their physical appearance.
1-4.3 Compare soil samples by sorting them according to properties (including color, texture, and the capacity to
nourish growing plants).
1-4.4 Illustrate the locations of water on Earth by using drawings, maps, or models.
1-4.6 Exemplify Earth materials that are used for building structures or for growing plants.
2014 Standards Correlation:
Grade One Earth Science: Earth’s Natural Resources
Standard 1.E.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the properties and uses of
Earth’s natural resources.
1.E.4A. Conceptual Understanding: Earth is made of different materials, including rocks, sand,
soil, and water. An Earth material is a resource that comes from Earth. Earth materials can be
classified by their observable properties.
1.E.4B. Conceptual Understanding: Natural resources are things that people use that come from
Earth (such as land, water, air, and trees). Natural resources can be conserved.
Performance Indicators addressed:
1.E.4A.2 Develop and use models (such as drawings or maps) to describe patterns in the
distribution of land and water on Earth and classify bodies of water (including oceans,
rivers and streams, lakes, and ponds).
1.E.4A.1 Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements to compare the
properties of Earth materials (including rocks, soils, sand, and water).
1.E.4B.1 Obtain and communicate information to summarize how natural resources are used in
different ways (such as soil and water to grow plants; rocks to make roads, walls, or
buildings; or sand to make glass).
Copyright © 2014 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina
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Earth globe and state maps
Containers of assorted rocks (including one smooth river rock) for each group
Dark paper plates with 2 samples of sandstone for each group
Magnifying glasses
Containers with 4 types of sand for each group; samples of rocks to match with sands
Containers with soil, sand, gravel and clay for each group
Laminated cards with uses: growing plants; making bricks, glass, or shiny paper; paving roads
Large samples of rocks and things made from rocks and other earth resources
Beakers and plastic cups for extension activities
7 E’s
Walk around with an Earth globe and ask students what each color
SM represents. Discuss the size of the model and the size of the real
SPQ Earth. (scale)
Students observe and describe patterns on the globe: Is there more
P land or water? Students classify: oceans, continents, deserts,
mountains, forests/grasslands, poles
What gives continents their shape and makes them stick up through
SF oceans? Are all rocks the same? Are there many kinds of rock or only a
SC few?
Give each table a collection of rocks and minerals. Ask: How could we
EM describe these rocks? (by color, size, shape, texture, weight) Each table
should choose a recorder and have them list properties you see and
feel. Share with class. Sort rocks into 3-5 groups based on properties.
Put all rocks back in bin except smooth, round rock.
Ask: How do you think rocks get round and smooth like this?
CE Brainstorm ideas. Collect bins and give them plates with 2 pieces of
SC sandstone. Observe sandstone with magnifiers. Take turns rubbing
rocks together for 5 over dark paper. Observe what happens. What are
these broken pieces of rock called?
This happens in rivers and streams; rocks get smoother and rounder as
CE they bump against each other while bouncing along a stream bottom.
SC Sand and gravel form as pieces break off the rocks.
Where have you seen sand outside? Do you think all sand looks alike?
EM Collect sandstone and plates and pass out containers with 4 types of
P sand. Students examine and compare the sands, describing how they
are different.
Provide each group with 4 appropriate rocks and ask: Can you match
P each type of sand to the rock that it came from?
CE Show students marble and slate tiles, polished granite pieces, etc. Have
SF you ever seen pieces of rock like these? How are they used? Can you
guess why this piece of slate has a hole in it?
Cut and polished rocks are used many building materials: floors, walls,
SF countertops, tabletops, fireplaces and walkways. Piece with hole was a
roofing tile. Sand, gravel, clay and soil are also useful earth resources.
Let’s compare soil, sand, gravel, and clay (red and white). What
SF differences do you see and feel? Brainstorm how these materials are
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used in making or growing things and have your recorder make a list.
Share ideas and discuss.
Students match containers to cards showing uses: growing plants,
making bricks, making glass, making shiny paper, paving roads and
Why do you think soil is best for growing plants? What do plants get
from the ground that helps them grow? How can we test which holds
more water: soil, sand, gravel or clay? How can we test to see if plants
do grow better in soil?
Use plastic cups with holes in the bottom to hold soil, sand, gravel and
clay. Place each cup over a small beaker and add the same amount of
water to each material. Watch to see which allows the most water
through. Also, plant seeds in equal amounts of soil, sand, gravel and
clay and see how they grow.
Read: “There’s a Map on My Lap” and “A Rock is Lively.” Have
students look at maps and identify water bodies and landforms.
SF SF SPQ SPQ SM SM Copyright © 2014 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina
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