Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 3 - Rocks

How fossils are formedFree! 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C004

Children explore how fossils are formed in sedimentary rock. They learn that some ancient organisms died, were covered soon after death, formed fossils and were then uncovered. Children create their own process description with diagrams by cutting and pasting, or draw their own diagrams and write their own descriptions.

  • 3c2: describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
I can explain how fossils are formed.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | How fossils are formed

Observing rocks 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C001

Children use a hand lens to look at a selection of rocks. They make observational drawings and describe them with the help of a word bank. Children try to identify the name of each rock and whether it contains grains, crystals, or fossils.

  • 3c1: compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
I can observe and describe the properties of rocks.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Observing rocks

Testing rock hardness 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C002

Children carry out an investigation to place a selection of 8 rocks in order of hardness. They predict and then test whether a rock can scratch each of the other rocks. They use their simple results table to create a frequency table and bar chart, and finally attempt to place the rocks in order of hardness.

  • 3c1: compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
I can test and compare rocks based on their hardness.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Testing rock hardness

Investigating rocks 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C003

Children investigate the properties of rocks. They predict and then observe whether 8 different rocks can be scratched with a nail, are porous, or can float in water. They use their results to create and label a 1-set Venn diagram.

  • 3c1: compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
I can investigate the properties of rocks.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Investigating rocks

Animals and their fossils 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C005

Children research and discuss some different types of living things whose remains have become fossils inside sedimentary rock. They learn that fossils are rare and often incomplete. They look at 4 images of fossils, label what they can see, and make a drawing of what the organisms might have looked like when it was alive.

  • 3c2: describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
I can describe fossils and guess how they were formed.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Animals and their fossils

Investigating soils 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C006

Using hand lenses, children explore two different soil samples. They identify differences and similarities, looking for sand, plant parts, water and minibeasts. They create an observational drawing and write a description of each sample.

  • 3c3: recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
I can investigate what soils are made from.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Investigating soils

Soil composition 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C007

Children examine a soil sample. They mix it with water inside a bottle, then allow it to settle. They draw and label its initial appearance, and then its appearance after several days. They discuss how it changes over time.

  • 3c3: recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
I can examine what a soil sample is made from.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Soil composition

Rocks and their properties 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | OS3C008

Children learn that rocks can be placed into three categories - sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. They examine pictures of 8 familiar rocks - chalk, diamond, sandstone, slate, granite, flint, marble and limestone - and match them to their descriptions and physical properties. They suggest potential uses for each of these rocks.

  • 3c3: recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
I can match rocks to their properties and suggest uses for them.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Rocks | Rocks and their properties