Assessment for Learning is an effective way of actively involving students in their learning.  Each session plan comes with suggestions about how to organise activities and worksheets that may be used with students.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.
  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative tests.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • that types of rocks formed in the same way can still have different properties.

Suggested activity use

Children can work in groups to devise an experiment to help answer the question. Whilst you may need to provide support to children, it will provide a good opportunity for children to plan for variables, to decide on how and what to measure, but also to evaluate their findings and identify limitations with their methods and results.

Practical considerations

Children will need to have prior knowledge and understanding of the different types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic) and their properties. Extending this, children need to understand that some types of rocks contain more carbonates than others, which can be shown by their reactions with acid.

Selections of limestones are needed for the experiment. Also children may need support with deciding how they are going to measure the carbonate content of the different limestone rocks.

The resource refers to children using hydrochloric acid; however, primary children should work safely with white vinegar or other alternatives.