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Earth Materials Activities

Title & Description English More Ideas and Videos
Bouncing, bending, breaking (ELI+)
Modelling the properties of the Earth’s mantle
Bouncing, bending, breaking Teaching video
Building Stones 1 - a resource for several ELI activities
Use a key to identify many different attractive-looking rocks
Building stones (6.6MB) Teaching video
Building Stones 2 - Igneous rocks
What are the differences between igneous rocks commonly used as building stones?
Igneous building stones  
Building Stones 3 - Sedimentary rocks
How do the sedimentary rocks used for building stones differ?
Sedimentary building stones  
Building Stones 4 - Metamorphic rocks
What are the differences between metamorphic rocks commonly used as building stones?
Metamorphic building stones Video (16+)
Calcium carbonate question - ‘I’m pure calcium carbonate’
A discussion focussed on common misconceptions about calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate misconceptions  
Darwin’s ‘big soil idea’
Can you work out how Charles Darwin ‘disovered’ how soil formed?
Darwin’s ‘big soil idea’ Video
Does my rock hold water and will water flow through it?
Investigating the differences between porosity and permeability
Porosity-permeability Teaching Video
Eureka! - detecting ore the Archimedes way
Measuring density using a stick, string, a ruler, a bucket and a bottle of water
Eureka! - detecting ore the Archimedes way  
Found in the ground: sorted!
An introduction to classification using things ‘found in the ground’
Found in the ground  
From clay balls to the structure of the Earth (ELI+)]
A discussion of how physics can be used to probe Earth’s structure
From clay balls to the structure of the Earth Teaching video
Frozen magnetism (ELI+)
Preserving evidence of a past magnetic field in wax
Frozen magnetism Teaching video
Human magnets! (ELI+)
Modelling ancient and modern magnetic fields, using your pupils
Human magnets!  
Identifying minerals - use your sense(s)!
Minerals in the dark: identifying minerals when the lights fail
Identifying minerals  
Innocent until proven guilty (ELI+)
Using forensic geoscience to solve the crime
Forensic geoscience  
Is there life in this soil sample?
Questions to consolidate pupil understanding of soil-formation
Life in soil?  
Magnetic Earth (ELI+)
Modelling the magnetic field of the Earth
Magnetic Earth Teaching video
Make and use your own Plaster of Paris
Investigate a large-scale industrial process in a boiling tube
Make and use your own Plaster of Paris  
Make your own rock
Investigating how loose sediment may be stuck together to form a ‘rock’
Make your own rock Teaching video
Make your own soil
Investigating the type and origin of the ingredients of soil
Make your own soil  
Mineral expert 1
Beginning to identify minerals - introducing colour, habit, lustre, cleavage
Mineral expert 1  
Mineral expert 2
Identifying minerals using ‘action’ tests - streak, density, hardness, acid test
Mineral expert 2  
Mineral expert 3 (ELI+)
The mineral foundations of everyday life
Mineral expert 3  
Mineral expert 4 - Recycle your mobile phone
Why should I recycle my mobile (cell) phone?
Mineral expert 4  
Mineral or not?
Discussion about what is a mineral and what is not
Mineral or not?  
Modelling for rocks: what’s hidden inside - and why?
Investigating the permeability of rocks and how they let water, oil and gas flow through
Modelling for rocks Teaching Video
Permeability of soil - ‘The great soil race’
Investigating the properties of different soils by pouring water on them
Permeability of soils Extension from Sri Lanka
Pirates and buried treasure (ELI Early years)
Grouping and sorting a variety of objects
Pirates and buried treasure  
Recipe for a magnetic Earth and a magnetic detector
Using a stress ball and small magnet, with a needle and thread to model magnetic Earth
Magnetic Earth and magnetic detector Teaching video
Roadstone - which rock?
Investigating the best rock type for the wearing course of roads
Roadstone - which rock?  
Rock around your school
Investigating the building materials around your school and in your area
Rock around school Teaching Video
Rock builder (ELI Early years)
Simulating the formation of fossiliferous sedimentary rocks
Rock builder  
Rock detective - rocky clues to the past
Investigating your local rocks to find out how they formed
Rock detective Teaching Video
Rock Explorers (ELI Early years)
Putting rocks into families
Rock Explorers  
Rock grain cut out
How can you tell which grains come from which rock?
Rock grain cut out  
Rock is a time capsule – a message from the past
Bringing to life the extraordinary stories of ordinary rocks
Rock is a time capsule  
‘Rockery 1’ - rock game
Model different characteristics of rocks - with your pupils
Rock game  
‘Rockery 2’ - rock cycle game
Model the stages of the rock cycle - with your pupils
Rock cycle game Rock cycle song
Rocks from the big screen
Indoor preparation for outdoor field work, using a picture and specimens
Rocks from the big screen  
Rocks music
Create your own geo-instrument
Rocks music Extension
Sound - Rock xylophone
Rocky play-park; design your own
Telling the stories of rocks for everyone
Rocky play-park  
Sensory treasure hunt (ELI Early years)
Using senses to match objects with similar properties
Sensory treasure hunt  
Smelter on a stick (ELI+)
Smelting iron ore to iron on a gas burner
Iron ore smelting  
Soil doughnuts
Sorting out soils
Soil doughnuts  
Soil layers puzzle
Make your own soil profile and investigate others
Soil layers puzzle  
Space within - the porosity of rocks
Investigating the amount of pore space between the ‘grains’ of a model ‘rock’
Space within - the porosity of rocks Extension
Testing rocks 1 - bouncing back
Testing the strength of rocks
Rock strength - bouncing back  
Testing rocks 2 - ‘Splat!’
A simple way of testing the plasticity of clay
Plasticity of clay - Splat!  
Testing rocks 3 - that shrinking feeling
Investigating shrinkage in clay as it dries out
Shrinking clay  
What is it made of?
Relate each mineral or rock to the everyday object containing it.
What is it made of?  
What was it like to be there - in the rocky world?
Bringing the formation of solid rock to life - by imagining yourself there when it formed
What was it like to be there Extension
Where on Earth is no soil found?
A ‘deep question’ discussion about soil-formation
Where on Earth is no foil found?  
Will my gravestone last?
Testing scientific ideas in a graveyard
Gravestones Teaching videos