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:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
  • 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.

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 different rock types have different properties, many as a result of how they were formed.
  • That weathering affects rocks differently based on their properties.

Suggested activity use

The activity could be carried out as a whole class investigation, with the children working in small groups to carry out each task. The investigation could take up to 3 weeks to complete.

Practical considerations

Children may need to recap prior knowledge of the types of rocks, as well as how the process of weathering affects them differently.

You will need to identify local buildings and landmarks that show signs of weathering before the investigation. It may also be useful to provide children with images of these buildings and landmarks.

The investigation will take 3 weeks to complete, as children will need to make careful observations of their samples over this period of time.

Sulfuric acid can be difficult for primary schools to source, and may not pass a risk assessment for use in a primary environment. An alternative such as white vinegar may need to be sourced.

Finally, different rocks and metal samples will be needed for the acid rain test.