Earth Materials

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject: Science                                                          

Grade: 3

Unit:  Earth Materials  Unit 2                                        

Pacing: November- January


Essential Question(s)

3.2-2    How can we classify rocks?

3.2-3    What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?

3.2-2      How do we use rocks and minerals in our daily lives?


Big Idea(s):

3.3-2      Rocks can be classified by observable properties

3.3-3      Rocks contain different ingredients, minerals are made of one

3.3-2      We use rocks and minerals in our everyday lives

CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

3.3-2  Use the senses and simple measuring tools to gather data about various rocks and classify them based on observable properties (e.g., size, shape, color, weight, visible markings)


3.3-3  Conduct simple tests to determine properties of different minerals (e.g., color, odor, streak, luster, hardness, magnetism), organize data in a table and use the data and other resources to identify unknown mineral specimens


3.3-1 Differentiate between rocks and minerals


3.3-4 Summarize nonfiction text to compare and contrast the conditions under which igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks

3.3-5  Observe and  analyze rock properties (e.g., crystal size or layers) to infer the conditions under which the rock was formed


3.3-6  Evaluate the usefulness of different rock types for specific applications (e.g., buildings, sidewalks, stone walls, statues or monuments)

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)



Physical Properties of Rocks





Properties of Minerals

Mineral Specimens












Observe, Measure, and

Classify (rocks)





Test and Analyze (minerals) 



Organize Data,


Identify (minerals)


















Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:

3.3-2 Foss Investigation 1

3.3-3 Foss Investigations 2,3,4

Delta Science Readers: Rocks and Minerals

Harcourt Readers: The Changing Earth

Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:


Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections












Mineralogy 4 Kids




Delta Science Readers: Rocks and Minerals

Harcourt Readers:       The Changing Earth


Writing Prompt

Rocks and Minerals: You are walking home from school and you find an interesting rock.  Write a story about the rock.  Be sure to include what properties the rock has that make it interesting to you.  Tell what you do with the rock.