From Earth Science On-Site
Black Rock, Derbyshire
It is anticipated that the ideas and materials presented here will be adapted by schools, and others, to be more appropriate for their own purposes and programmes of study.
In such circumstances please acknowledge the source as the Earth Science On-Site project.
Pupils should already know the significant characteristics of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, weathering, erosion, transport and deposition. For ideas on practical ways of approaching this topic see “Spot that Rock” teachers’ workshop material and teaching resources on the Earth Science Education Unit website
Prior to the Earth Science On-Site visit to the Black Rock and National Stone Centre Sites a suitable preparation is to raise pupils’ awareness of the use of stone in the built environment. Set a homework exercise to list as many different uses of stone that they can see in suitable places. This might be on their way home from school, around school buildings, a local park, shopping centre or monument etc. Stress this is an exercise in observation, and a competition to see who can find the most examples.
Some of the less obvious examples pupils might find are: clay (used to make bricks and tiles); silica sand (used to make glass); road metalling (stone gravel bonded with bituminous material to surface roads); limestone, and other minerals (used to make concrete and cement).
After the Earth Science On-Site visit, as a homework exercise, pupils are asked to describe in detail two uses of stone as part of a survey of building stone in the local area.
The term “building” may need to be very loose. Suitable sites could include a local church, gravestones (helpfully dated), school buildings, local walls, high street shop fronts, kerbstones, cobblestones, local monuments, bridges, and the pupil’s own home. In particularly unhelpful areas concrete, cement and bricks could be designated as “man-made” stone for the purpose of this exercise.
Teachers (or pupils) should identify two sites to work on (perhaps taken from the preparatory homework exercise above). Remind pupils about situations where permission is required, and appropriate behaviour is expected. Also, draw attention to thoughts about safety, if kerbstones, or a cobbled road is chosen.
Pupils should record: