South Jordan Second-graders Get Down and Dirty at Their Rock-a-ThonAug 10, 2015 10:40AM ● By Bryan Scott
South Jordan Elementary Principal Ken Westwood looks at second-graders’ displays at the school’s rock-a-thon event.
By Julie Slama
In May, South Jordan second-graders in Joann Wilcox’s class, walked to the field near their school looking for rocks that they could share at their class rock-a-thon event.
Second-grader Jamison Wayman picked up a rock thinking it was dark so maybe it would be obsidian. He took it back to the classroom, washed it off, and instead, discovered it held a fossil of sea life.
“It was way cool to see that,” he said. “Some rocks can be native minerals and not just made up of dirt.”
Other students brought in their treasures to show to family, friends and classmates at the May 28 event.
Christopher Pacini had pirate or fool’s gold. Komron Manbeian brought in a lava rock he found in the corner of his back yard. Mason Glazier brought a volcanic rock from Hawaii. Hannah Rigby shared a trilobite that she found at a farmer’s market and said that they are found around Topaz, Utah. Danika Johnson learned geodes are commonly found around Dugway, Utah.
The students also shared posters, tri-folds and books they created.
“We usually try to do an experiment every week on the rock unit, which is part of the second-grade curriculum,” Wilcox said. “We’ve made crystals for a crystal garden, made fossils out of plaster, and made a volcano with salt, dough and baking soda.”
The experiments also can be fun, such as learning about erosion by putting Smarties in their mouths. They also watched water filter soil, silt, sand and clay in jars after they were shaken.
“I want students to have first-hand experiences so they’ll retain what they’ll learn,” Wilcox said.
Danika said she learned more about geodes by researching about them for her poster.
“They look so cool inside with all the crystals and color, which is weird because outside, they’re just normal plain rocks,” she said.
Christopher said he learned the different types of rocks — igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary — and how they are part of the earth’s core.
“I learned rocks aren’t a piece of nature we don’t use,” he said. “They are the most important things ever.”