Cave formations and information investigation

Cave formations and information investigation

In this Earth Science activity students will choose one cave and find some information about it.

cave stalactite.jpg

There are a few ways that I have tried this assignment.  Normally I randomly select a group and then they get to pick one of the caves from the list.  I only allow each cave to be selected once.  I have a list of 18 caves that they choose from.  I have also had a Smartboard Randomizer select the cave for each group.  This year I created a few cards that are place in a hat and they select one from the hat.

After students know which cave they are to research, they first go out on the web and find an image of different cave formations:  Helicite, Stalactites, Stalagmites, Flowstone, Cave Popcorn, Soda Straws, Draperies, Cave Bacon, Columns, and Boxwork.  I enjoy teaching technology in the classroom, so I teach them how to create an image caption to an image in a Google Doc.  Below is a Youtube video on the way that I teach students to add captions to a document image.



Next students choose 8 items from a list of about 21 questions that they need to research.  Not all of the questions can be found on the internet, so they get to select questions that they can find.  Some examples of questions are:

  • How much does it cost to enter?
  • Where is it located?
  • What type of tours are there?
  • What is the average temperature in the cave?
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • What types of rock do you find in the cave?
  • What is the cave's official URL?

This first part takes about a 50 minute period depending on network speed and student ability could take about a 90 minute period.  I have the students present their information before the end of the day on the second day?  I only give the a few minutes to tell the class which questions they chose and the answers to those questions.

I find that this activity is really good one.  Students get to see images and information about cave right here in our country as well as others.  If done well a student's presentation about their chosen cave, can be fantastic and entertaining.