FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Pebbles, Sand and Silt (CA Ed.)


The Pebbles, Sand and Silt Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide experiences that heighten students' awareness of rocks as earth materials, natural resources, and fossils. They will come to know rocks by many names and in a variety of sizes. Pebbles, sand, and silt are the same material – just different in size.


  • Develop a curiosity and interest in the natural world around them.
  • Observe, describe, and sort earth materials based on properties.
  • Observe the colorful minerals in granite using a hand lens and learn that rocks are made of minerals.
  • Separate earth materials by size, using different techniques.
  • Observe the similarities and differences in the materials in a river rock mixture: silt, sand, gravel, and small and large pebbles.
  • Learn that smaller rocks come from the breakdown of larger rocks.
  • Explore places where earth materials are found and ways that earth materials are used.
  • Compare the ingredients in different soils.
  • Compare the properties of soil, including texture, color, and ability to retain water.
  • Learn about fossils and what they tell us about the past.
  • Organize and communicate observations through drawing and writing.
  • Write or draw a sequence of steps for an investigation.
  • Construct bar graphs to record data.
  • Use metric tools to weigh rocks and measure volumes of water.
  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with earth materials.

For a description of each investigation in the Pebbles, Sand and Silt Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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