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If You Find A Rock...

School: Genesee Community Charter School

City/State: Rochester, NY

Grade(s): 4

Format(s): Book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology

Project Overview

Throughout a 12-week expedition on the geology of the Genesee River, 4th graders at the Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York focused on the questions: "How has the area we live in been shaped over time?" "How do scientists know that the earth has changed over time?" What might the Genesee River look like in the future?"

They travelled to the source of the river and followed its path north to its mouth conducting research along the way. They investigated the "stories" of different rocks along the Genesee River and what those rocks have seen throughout geological time. In class, they read informational text and conducted experiments to learn and understand river formation. 

The final product is a book that explores the Genesee River through its past, present, and future.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Thoughtful combination of photography, facts, and poetry to create professional looking format
  • Provides answers to complex questions with clarity and accurate geological information
  • Format is standardized but allows for student creativity
  • Shows an example of a project that could be applicable to many areas in the United States
  • Demonstrates a format in which individual work can be assessed
  • Trip summary provides further details on the project

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and information clearly.
  • I can produce writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to produce clear and coherent writing.
  • I can conduct a research project to become knowledgeable about a topic.
  • I can provide a list of sources I used to gather information.
  • I can choose evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.

Additional Standards

  • CCSS New York State W.4.11
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