January 7: Let’s Celebrate “Rock Day”!

When I was little, my coat pockets were always full of rocks. My mom would have to dump them out when I wasn’t looking. There was just something about finding a shiny rock outside. Or a funny- shaped rock. Or a teeny tiny rock. Or a colorful rock. Who can resist a rock?

During my first year of teaching, one of our third grade science units was about rocks and minerals. The box provided us with a bag of random rocks and directions for how to perform hardness and streak tests. But those rocks were just so…boring. Someone else had picked them out. We didn’t know these rocks. Who were they anyway??

So I designed a pet rock unit and gave the kids took a week to find the perfect rock. We took our rocks to the spa (aka – washed them off in soapy water). We researched their pedigree (aka performing the streak, magnetism, vinegar, and float tests to determine their type). We groomed them (by decorating them with yarn hair and googly eyes). We even held a rock talent show! (You’d be SHOCKED by what their rocks could do!) And those rocks sat proudly on their desks for weeks because like I said…there’s just something about finding a rock.

My dad instilled within me an appreciation of the parts of nature that are so easy to overlook: the pattern of bark on a tree, the way that stars look like little pinpricks in a blanket on a clear night, the shape of the clouds he deemed “beach clouds” in the Outer Banks. He’s the reason my pockets were always full of rocks.

Because there is beauty in ordinary things.

And isn’t that what pockets were made for?

finding a rock, a seashell, or a leaf that “speaks” to you : )

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