Yesterday, our first day back at school - after our 4th and 5th days off this year due to extreme cold - we chose our research topics for our summative assessment. I paired the students using my popsicle sticks, and together they chose their topics. They got to choose from earthquakes, volcanoes, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, gemstones, minerals, fossils, plate tectonics, precious metals, and crystals.
The summative assessment ties in with our writing unit, so the students will be working in pairs to research their topic and create a poster with everything they've learned. We have a lot of samples in the room, we've done some experiments, and we are really looking forward to seeing these posters develop over the next few weeks!
Here is a picture of the beginning of the process, and a really great Borax crystal a student brought in!