Pet rocks. Classifying rocks. Painting rocks. The Yellow Band is doing it all. (Plus learning about equity and perseverance.)
As the pet rocks were making themselves right at home in the yellow band space, we brainstormed a list of non-fiction and fictional elements to incorporate in our pet rock owner’s manuals and stories. We decided that some of what we should let others know is what kind of rock it is, how it was likely born (or formed), common characteristics of it, as well as what it enjoys eating, its likes and dislikes, and its name. These rocks have become such a part of the Yellow Band, that a number of them will even have life jackets made for them so they can join us on our upcoming sailing field trip.
While our pet rocks looked on, we continued to read myths of how the earth was formed and the science that either supports or refutes it. Using the jigsaw method, we paired up and each partnership read a different myth and scientific proof, created a poster sharing our learning, and then taught the rest of the band what we had learned. Just because we are in the exploration phase of the Rock Arc, doesn’t mean we can’t practice our presentation skills for the exposition phase.
Tuesday brought us out of the building again, this time to the San Francisco Mint to observe the serpentine base it rests upon. We had a great discussion around what type of rock we believed it to be. Some thought it looked layered and therefore believed it to be sedimentary rock. Others thought that it had possibly been squeezed up through volcanoes, making it an igneous rock. The third group solved the mystery when they decided that it was the combined heat and pressure of the earth that created this metamorphic rock.
Thursday morning we classified rocks with the help of the Violet Band. We learned to use a rock classifying key, looking at a number of features of rocks to figure out which of the three types of rocks they were. One thing we learned was that sedimentary rocks are known to bubble when they come into contact with hydrochloric acid. We found that even with the help of the classifying key, it was still fairly difficult to classify a number of rocks.
Studying rocks doesn’t just mean studying the science and history of them, it also means taking the time to observe and enjoy them aesthetically and artistically, and on Friday afternoon we did just that. After looking closely at a number of slices, we created watercolor paintings of them, adding its crystalline texture by using salt absorb the color and leave little circles of lighter color.
Along with all our work around rocks, we also took time to talk about equity and perseverance, using a growth mindset. We shared ways in which we can take care of the needs of others by being equitable, even if it doesn’t always feel fair. After reading an article on growth mindset, we talked about how our brains are continuing to grow and that we need to continually work them just as we do with any other muscle. Just like with exercise, sometimes its difficult, but we must learn to persevere and trust in ourselves and ability.
Next week we are looking forward to spending our afternoons in the shop, working in partnerships to create rock tumblers, and of course our trip out onto the bay to see Alcatraz and Angel Island.