Island Explorers Curriculum Home


Unit 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 5

Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension


Lesson Plan 2




1. Create a concept map about the beach, where students can express and organize prior knowledge. This can be done in small groups or as a class. (For further information and examples of concept maps, check out this URL in World Wide Web: (For further information and examples of concept maps, check out this URL in World Wide Web: http://ewradio.org/teachingtools.aspx. Click on What is Concept Mapping.)

Sample Beach Concept Map #1

2. Next, students should create another concept map about the soil.

Sample Soil Concept Map #2


  1. Tell students that they will be exploring an important feature of the beach (sand) and compare and contrast its contents to school soil.
  2. Distribute black paper, a hand lens, Activity Sheets 1 and 2, and a small sample of sand to a group of two students.
  3. Have the students pour some of the sand onto their hand. Describe what it feels like. What it smells like.
  4. Next, spread the sand sample on the black construction paper. The black paper provides a nice contrast so students can observe the particles more closely. If the sand sample includes many dark particles, you may want to use a different color paper.
  5. Observe particles by noting sizes, shapes, and colors and record on Activity Sheet 1.

They can also do the following exercises and questions:

  1. Heavy minerals with iron in them will be attracted to a magnet. Touch a magnet to the sand. Are the grains of sand attracted to it?
  2. Look at the grains in a magnifying glass. Do they look the same?
  3. Shell fragments are often more rounded and less jagged-looking. Do you see a shell fragment in the sand? Draw the grains of sand.
  4. Gently blow on the sand. When breezes blow on the beach, what do you think happens to the sand?
  5. Put about 1 inch of sand into a jar. Fill the jar with water, put the lid on tightly, and tip the jar. What happens to the sand?
  6. Shake the jar and watch the sand. This shaking is similar to the constant motion of the waves in the ocean. What happens to the sand?
  1. Students should obtain a sample of soil from the school yard and observe various soil particles using the same hand lens and recording this under school soil on Activity Sheet 1.
  2. After sand and soil has been investigated, students can complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two samples on Activity Sheet 2.

Students should share their observations and Activity Sheets with the class. The teacher may want to engage in a short discussion using a variety of questions that require students to think critically and make important generalizations about the make-up of sand in their area and how it compares with soil on their school campus.

1. Observation skills from Activity Sheet 1.
2. Venn diagram comparing and contrasting sand and soil samples (Activity Sheet 2)
3. Cooperation and participation with partner.



Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension