Path of a pebble traces Earth’s history



Teacher, The Village School
Published: 8/23/2021 1:54:17 PM
Modified: 8/23/2021 1:54:19 PM

“The Pebble in My Pocket,” by Meredith Hooper, illustrated by Chris Coady

This book is a favorite for Village School kindergarteners through second-graders when they are studying rocks and earth. Both illustrations and accompanying text demonstrate beautifully how our earth has transformed over millions of years. We start out by wondering alongside a child holding a single stone, “where does it come from?” and end with the realization of how the pebble has traced earth’s history to arrive at this very moment in time.

The journey begins 480 million years ago and continues through geological history up to the present day. Each two-page spread introduces a new epoch in the life of the earth and demonstrates how rocks may have been shaped or formed during that time.

“Everything on the surface of the earth is slowly being eroded and broken down into smaller and smaller pieces.”

“Worm-like creatures burrow in moss jungles and millipedes shelter under rock.”

We witness a time 390 million years ago. The earth rises a meter every 2,000 years. The land is constantly tilting, folding, cracking, creating more rocks. Prehistoric creatures roam the earth 155 million years ago. Glaciers come and go, as do woolly mammoths.

Collecting pebbles can certainly have more meaning when a child realizes there is a story behind every rock. Maybe this pebble lived in the ocean or on top of a mountain. Maybe it was around when the dinosaurs were alive. Anything is possible within our planet’s rich and ever changing history.

I recommend this book as a read-aloud up to 2nd grade. Children will enjoy reading it over and over again and dwelling on the illustrations.

Katrina Walton teaches preschool through second-grade science at The Village School in Royalston.

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