Slicing Rocks

Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas, and Ilyse Resnick, Temple University
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: May 19, 2015

Summary

Students examine images of a bowl of rocks, then several rock piles, then outcrops of conglomerate and breccia. They sketch slices through the bowl of rocks, match photos of rock piles to sketches of slices through those piles, and then apply what they've learned to describe the conglomerate and breccia.

Learning Goals


After successfully completing this exercise, students will be able to sketch slices through coarse sediment or through coarse-grained clastic rocks.

Context for Use


This exercise is designed to help students visualize slices through conglomerates and breccias, and also to support their ability to imagine a sedimentary rock when looking at a 2D slice through it (such as a thin section).

Description and Teaching Materials


Rock slicing exercise (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 3.1MB May19 15)

Teaching Notes and Tips


This exercise was developed as part of a set of exercises to support 3D visualization skills. These exercises had an intended order. Instructors can pick and choose the exercises, but the order we intended was as follows:

  1. Introduction to 3D sketching
  2. Sketching block diagrams
  3. Sketching 3D Ripples and Dunes
  4. Slicing cylinders
  5. Slicing channels
  6. Slicing fruit
  7. Slicing rocks
  8. Slicing fossils

Assessment


I take a quick look at students' answers to see how well they are able to complete the exercise.

References and Resources


Using Gesture to Support Spatial Thinking highlights the value of gesture in communicating spatial information. It consists of two short exercises, and can be used in preparation for any other exercise in which students will be asked to use gesture to communicate spatial information.