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Sieving for Clast Size

This activity was created by Marcia Barton at Santa Fe High School, with the help of Dr. Dave Love and Dr. Nelia Dunbar of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology. This activity begins with an outdoor activity that is accessible to all students, one that they can use to scaffold their knowledge upon. It includes both qualitative and quantitative analyses, and gives all students access points to learning about geology based on their learning style. This activity requires access to two uncemented sedimentary geologic formations with different grain sizes and clast compositions.  The exercise, as described here, studies the Ancha and Tesuque formations in the Santa Fe area, but could be adapted to similar sediments in other parts of the state.  You could consult a local geologist, or a geologist from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, for suggestions of appropriate sediments near your school.

Download the lesson plan (1.3 MB PDF)