Find out why chalk - calcium or magnesium carbonate - is as important in weightlifting as it is in tennis, rock climbing, and even fire-fighting.

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:

  • Finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their ideas.

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 some naturally occurring rocks can also be manufactured and be man-made. Hence the terms ‘naturally occurring’ and ‘man-made’ chalk.
  • That different materials have different properties, which affects their suitability for different roles, using the context of chalk.
  • That despite chalk being a sedimentary rock, it isn’t easily eroded due to its porous nature.

Suggested activity use

This activity can be used in conjunction with introducing children to different rocks and their types, in this case the sedimentary rock chalk, and looking at its wider uses within the topic of rocks.

Alternatively, the slides could be printed off and used as a non-fiction information text, with children using it as a reading comprehension task. Children can be challenged to find the answers using the text. This would be more appropriate for higher ability children.

Practical considerations

The text may not be suitable as a Guided Reading resource for lower ability children.

Also, children may not need to know the chemical formula of man-made chalk.

The presentation can be used to provide background information or as an introduction to the topic; however, children may need help in completing the student worksheet.