Lesson Plan

Webbing The Wonders

Diagram of an idea web

Tom Foster

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Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Third Grade
Subject:
Earth Science, Geology, Science and Technology
Duration:
30-45 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
Keywords:
Mammoth Cave, cave, geology, Interconnections

Overview

This lesson plan is from "Making Connections: A Curriculum Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park, GrK-3", which comprises ten lessons.  This is lesson 9 of that set.
This web illustrates the way individual parts connect to form the world's longest cave.

Objective(s)

The students will be able to:
  1. Classify the elements in creating a cave
  2. Make decisions using cave vocabulary  

Background

The basic elements needed to make Mammoth Cave include rocks, water, and time. The two most common rocks are limestone and sandstone. Limestone is the “soft” rock (more water soluble) that is dissolved more easily by water. It is gray in color and has a smooth texture. This rock is the older of the two rocks and is made from shells and bones of animals that once lived in an ancient sea. The cave is found in the dissolved limestone rock. Sandstone is found on top of the cave, making it the younger rock. It is made from sand and silt that was left behind by historic rivers. Since the rock is made of sand it has a rough texture, feeling much like sandpaper. This rock is red or brown in color. Sandstone is “harder” (less water soluble) and does not let water soak into the cave.

Water can be found in many forms such as snow and rain. Water in the Mammoth Cave area can be found in surface rivers and surface streams. Surface streams normally occur after a heavy rain and then disappear. These waters disappear in holes and cracks in the rock.

When the water hits the surface it runs over dead plant material. From this decaying vegetation it picks up carbon dioxide to make carbonic acid. The water holds the acid. This acid dissolves limestone but runs off the sandstone. This carbonic acid is the same acid that is found in carbonated drinks.

Time is also an important ingredient in making a cave. It has taken millions of years. Long before the dinosaurs roamed the earth the rock that makes up the cave was being put in place.

Materials

  • String 
  • Tape 
  • Magnets or clips 
  • Scissors
  • Webbing the Wonders Activity Sheets* (The teacher will need to cut out the circles prior to the lesson.)
* Available in the downloadable Lesson Plan at the top of the page

Procedure

Assessment

The teacher is able to evaluate the students as they place their pieces of the web on the board. They can also be evaluated while reviewing the web results.

Extensions

  1. This activity could be done on a bulletin board, using string for lines. This project could be displayed for several days or during the unit to reinforce the concept taught in this lesson. 
  2. The class may wish to web animals and plants found within Mammoth Cave National Park. This could be done by using words or pictures. 
  3. The students may wish to draw their own web on a piece of paper with Mammoth Cave National Park as the center topic. 

Vocabulary

sandstone, limestone, water, time, acid, surface, cave