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Rock Classification Lesson

Updated on January 26, 2016
Mining for rocks and minerals using seeded dirt
Mining for rocks and minerals using seeded dirt

This is part 2 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make and eat "sedimentary" Seven Layer Bars, create "metamorphic" Snickers bars, do some rock mining, and more! My lessons are geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. I created these lessons to do with a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 14 children between the ages of 0-12. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, camp, after school program, or co-op!

Introduction to Rocks

1) Stretch & pray. Discuss Psalm 18:1-3.

2) Ask what we learned about last week. Who can name the main 4 layers of the earth? Who can name one type of soil? How do geologists find out about what is under the ground? Review the song from last week, "How God Put the Earth Together." Sing it 1 time through.

3) Today we are going to study about rocks. Read a book on rocks: Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals by Steve Tomecek (skipping the page about the Big Bang theory).

Book to read for activity 3

Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals
Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals

We read a number of books on rock classification, and this is the one I think is best for a read aloud to introduce rocks. It has nice illustrations and the right amount of text to keep the children informed and interested. I did change a few words. "Millions of years" always becomes "thousands of years," and sedimentary rocks and fossils were made rapidly as a result of the flood as opposed to "over a long period of time."

 
Different colors and textures of sand
Different colors and textures of sand

Introduction & Sand and Soil

4) Show different colors and textures of sand/soil and review what makes them look different. Briefly discuss 3 forms of rocks and how they are each formed. Say something such as:
-Why do chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies with raisins, and sugar cookies with colored sprinkles all look different? They have different ingredients. That's why sand and rocks look different. They are made up of different minerals. If I laid out a plate of cookies that had chocolate chip, oatmeal, and sugar cookies all mixed up, and you wanted to put them into those 3 types, how would you be able to easily tell them apart? Yes, just by looking at their appearance. That's also how scientists divided up animals into phyla. That's not how geologists, who are scientists who study rocks, divide up rocks, though.
-Geologists (have the kids say “geologists”) don’t divide rocks into groups by what they look like. They divide them by how they are made. Did you know that rocks were actually created and are still getting created even today?
-The most common type of rock is called igneous rocks. They are created by extreme heat under the earth's surface and can be tossed out of a volcano. How are igneous rocks made? (Have the children wipe their foreheads for heat as they repeat “heat” and make a cone shape with their hands over their heads for volcano as they say, "tossed out of a volcano.")
-Sedimentary rocks are usually made from water and pressure. You'll have layers of sand, shells and mud, fossils and mud, harden on top of each other. How are sedimentary rocks usually made? (Have the children wiggle their hands and arms like waves as they say, "Water.")
-The third type of rock is when heat and pressure are applied to an igneous or sedimentary rock. Geologists call those rocks metamorphic rocks because "metamorphic" means "changed" and these rocks have changed. What caused them to change? (Have the children wipe their foreheads for heat and slap their hands together and press their palms together for pressure as they say, "Heat and pressure.")
YOU WILL NEED: different colors and textures of sand/soil

The Rock Cycle Song

5) Sing The Rock Cycle Song. Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

SED-I-MEN-TARY rock
Has been formed in layers
Often found near water sources
With fossils from decayers.

Then there's IGNEOUS rock
Pumice, Obsidian, Granite
Molten Lava, cooled and hardened
That's how God planned it.

These two types of rocks
Can also be transformed
With pressure, heat and chemicals
METAMORPHIC rock is born.

-Hand motions for sedimentary rock lines: continuously put one hand on top of the other
-Hand motions for igneous rock lines: Hold arms in a cone shape over your head. Hold up your fingers and wiggle them as your arms go out in circles to show the lava pouring out of the volcano. When your hands circle back in front of your chest, make fists to show the lava hardening.
-Hand motions for metamorphic rock lines: hold out both hands and then clasp both hands together for pressure
YOU WILL NEED: Words to song printed on large piece of paper

Sedimentary Seven Layer Bars
Sedimentary Seven Layer Bars

Sedimentary Rocks: Seven Layer Bars

6) Make Seven Layer Bars. Explanation: These bars are like sedimentary rocks because they are made in layers. Sedimentary rock is made from layers of mud, sand, or even seashells that get built up during huge floods. Can anyone think of a time when there was a huge flood that covered the entire Earth? Yes, the one during the time of Noah. All those layers of mud, rocks, and other items got squeezed and stuck together to make new rocks. This cookie is made in layers and you'll still be able to see the layers even after it is pressed together and cooked. We'll pretend like the butter is water and the graham cracker crumbs are sand. They get pressed into one layer. They butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts are like shells and dead animals that got buried in the flood. The sweetened condensed milk will be like more water and mud that covers up all the layers of shells and dead animals.
-Divide children into 2 groups. Have each group make the below recipe. Give each child an ingredient to add. As the children add each layer of the bars, remind them of what was said in the explanation above.
-After children have assembled their Sedimentary Rock Seven Layer Bars and are ready to put them in the oven, tell them that we are now going to add the element of heat. When you use heat, pressure, and/or chemicals, a sedimentary rock CHANGES into what type of rock? Metamorphic rock! After we bake our Sedimentary Rock Seven Layer Bars, they will change into Metamorphic Multi-layered Bars.

Sedimentary Rock Seven Layer Bars:
1/2 cup butter, melted in the baking dish ahead of time
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips or 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts), chopped
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. In the 13x9 inch casserole dish, melt the butter in the microwave. Let a child add the graham cracker crumbs combine it with the butter. Have a child use the mixing spoon to press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom of the pan. Have children evenly sprinkle the next ingredients in order over the graham cracker layer: butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts. Let a child pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the bars. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Put in the freezer after they come out of the oven so they'll cool faster.

GROUP 1: YOU WILL NEED: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 9x13 baking pan, mixing spoon, & measuring cups
GROUP 2: YOU WILL NEED: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 9x13 baking pan, mixing spoon, & measuring cups

7) (Optional) On the "Rock Cycle" paper from "Considering God's Creation" (or just draw it on a piece of paper if you don't have this book) next to the sedimentary rock picture draw what the sedimentary "rock" we're making looked like first: Draw graham crackers, chocolate chips, etc.
YOU WILL NEED: 14 copies of Rock Cycle worksheet OR paper, crayons

Considering God's Creation Student Book
Considering God's Creation Student Book

This includes great worksheets of rock identifical and many other subjects. It is one of my absolute favorite homeschool resources! I have used it with almost every single science unit.

 
Limestone dissolving in vinegar
Limestone dissolving in vinegar

Studying Sedimentary Rock Properties

8) Using magnifying glasses, look at sedimentary rocks & discuss characteristics:
-Most sedimentary rock was formed from the mud and living organisms (plants and animals) that squished together under the mud and water during Noah's Flood. That's why you can find fossils in this type of rock. [Show a piece of limestone with a shell imprint on it.]
-Even though sedimentary rock is usually formed in layers, some rocks that have obvious layers in them are actually metamorphic rocks, not sedimentary rocks. Many sedimentary rocks are frequently crumbly (like limestone and sandstone) or they're made up of lots of shells or crystals and "cemented" together like conglomerates or breccia. In this piece of conglomerate, the sediment, pebbles, and other size rocks were cemented together by minerals from water.
YOU WILL NEED: Sedimentary rocks (limestone, flint, rock salt, conglomerate, breccia, and/or shale) and a piece of limestone with a shell imprint on it (optional) & magnifying glasses (brought by families)

9) Drop a piece of granite or other rock in a small cup of vinegar and have the children tell you what happens. (Nothing will happen.) Give each child a small cup of vinegar and a small piece of limestone. Have them drop the piece of limestone in the vinegar. Ask the children what they see. (It will effervesce and a small amount of heat will be produced.) Ask what they think would happen to the limestone rock if we left it in that vinegar for a few months. (It would “disappear.”)
-Quickly explain they just caused a chemical reaction by combining an acid (vinegar) with a base (limestone). Ask if anyone has seen a sinkhole. Under the ground where we live here in Florida, there is lots of limestone. When it rains, the rainwater mixes with materials in the ground that add some acids to it. As the rainwater sinks deep into the ground where the limestone is, this is what happens. The slightly acidic rainwater erodes away the limestone. If we left this limestone rock in the vinegar for a long time, it would “disappear.” The same thing happens with the limestone under the ground. If it’s a thin enough layer, it will erode and eventually break open and cause a sinkhole.
YOU WILL NEED: small rock that isn’t limestone, 1 small cup of water, 16 small cups of vinegar, & 16 small pieces of limestone

Igneous Rock Lollipops
Igneous Rock Lollipops

Igneous Rock Lollipops

10) Make "Igneous Rock" Lollipops. (*A teacher will stay & stir after everyone combines the ingredients.) Explanation: When rocks get incredibly hot, they melt. Lava is hot melted rock. Does anyone know where lava comes from? Yes, it comes out of a volcano. When molten lava comes out from the Earth's mantle through a volcano, it cools and the rock hardens into smooth obsidian rock. The same thing is going to happen to this candy mixture. I'm going to start heating this up. When I heat it up, what will happen? Yes, it will melt. Eventually I'm going to get it very hot and then I'm going to take it off the stove and let it cool. What do you think will happen to it then? Do you think it will stay a liquid? We'll find out.
-Have one child 1 cup of corn syrup and let them pour it into a saucepan.
-Have one child drop 1/4 stick (4 Tbsp.) of butter into the saucepan.
-Ahead of time measure out 2 cups of sugar and put in a bowl or bag. Allow the remaining children to each put a spoonful of sugar into the saucepan.
-Ask, “What is going to happen to all of this when I start to heat it? Yes, it will melt and become liquid.
-Put it on the stove and heat it according to the below directions. Finish making the lollipops yourself by following the directions below:

Igneous Rock Lollipop Recipe:
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
2 (1/3 ounce) boxes of flavored gelatin
lollipop sticks
nonstick cooking spray
Cover cookie sheet with nonstick spray and place the lollipop sticks on sheet with one end sticking off the edge and leaving room to pour the liquid candy onto the other end. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly bring to a boil stirring frequently. Cook for 7 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 275 degrees. Stir in packet of gelatin and continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and quickly spoon mixture onto one end of the sticks and cool. Put in the freezer after pouring them so they'll harden faster.

YOU WILL NEED: 2 cups sugar (premeasured in a bowl or bag), 1 cup light corn syrup, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 (1/3 ounce) boxes of cherry or other flavored jell-o [not prepared jell-o], 2 baking sheets, non-stick cooking spray, candy thermometer, mixing spoon, 16 lollipop sticks, saucepan, 16 sandwich baggies for taking them home

11) (Optional) While candy is boiling: On the "Rock Cycle" paper from "Considering God's Creation" (or just draw it on a piece of paper if you don't have that wonderful book) next to the igneous rock picture draw what the igneous "rock" we're making looked like first: a saucepan with liquid in it.

Pumice floating in water
Pumice floating in water

Studying Igneous Rock Properties

12) Look at igneous rocks & discuss characteristics:
-Igneous rocks are formed when magma, or melted rock, from deep inside the Earth rises and cools. This cooling may happen below the surface or on the Earth. When magma cools slowly below the surface, the igneous rock formed may have large crystals, which are very easy to see. If you see a rock with sparkles like this piece of granite, it is probably an igneous rock. Other igneous rocks form on the Earth’s surface and cool more quickly. Their crystals are usually extremely small. Igneous rocks are usually not layered. They may have air holes in them like this piece of pumice, or they may be glass-like like this piece of obsidian.
YOU WILL NEED: Igneous rocks (obsidian, pumice, basalt, diorite, scoria, and/or granite) & magnifying glasses (brought by families)

13) Drop a piece of obsidian in a bowl of water and have the children tell you what they see happening. (It will sink but nothing else.) Drop the piece of granite and a few other rocks in the water.
-Ask the children if they think all rocks will sink.
-Allow a child to drop a piece of pumice in the water. Ask the children what they see happening. (It will float.) Obsidian and pumice are both formed when lava comes out of a volcano. If water mixes in with the super hot molten lava, then gas/bubbles will form. The rock will cool so quickly that the gas doesn't have a chance to escape, so the pumice stone is filled with holes. It's not as dense as obsidian or as most other rocks, so it floats.
YOU WILL NEED: obsidian & pumice and a large bowl of water

Metamorphic Snickers Demo
Metamorphic Snickers Demo

Metamorphic Rocks Snickers Demo & Properties

14) Metamorphic Snickers Demo.

-Give each child a bag containing the half of the Snickers bar. Tell them to pretend that this is a sedimentary rock. Have them notice the different layers.
-(Optional) Have them note the different layers and then draw it on the "Rock Cycle" paper next to "metamorphic rock."
-Have the children put the bagged candy bar on the floor and then put a book on top of the candy bar (to more evenly divide the pressure). Have each child step on the book to smash the Snicker's bar. Tell them they are providing heat and strong pressure to their sedimentary rock. Ask them what they think their Snickers bars will look like. Will they still be able to see each of the individual layers?
-Have them remove the book. Can they see those distinct layers anymore? No. The same thing happens with metamorphic rocks. Heat and pressure make sedimentary or igneous rocks into a metamorphic rocks. Have them repeat “heat and pressure.”
-(Optional) Draw that on the other side of metamorphic rock on "The Rock Cycle" page.
–Tell them to give the candy to their moms so they can eat it if desired at a later time.
YOU WILL NEED: 9 snack size Snicker's candy bars cut in half with each half placed in a sandwich or snack sized ziplock bag & 16 books (such as the hymnals at the church)

15) Look at metamorphic rocks & discuss characteristics:
-Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been changed by heat and pressure. The heat comes from volcanoes and other hot rocks under Earth’s surface. Pressure comes from the layers of rock that press down on layers below them. Metamorphic rocks may have crystals or layers because they are formed from other rocks. Some common metamorphic rocks are marble, gneiss (pronounced “nice”), and schist ("shist").
-This piece of marble is a large crystal rock formed from this piece of limestone. (Pass them around and let the children feel the differences.) Marble comes in lots of different colors. Does anyone have marble counter tops in their kitchen? What color are they? Its color depends on the presence of different minerals.
-Show the 3 sets of pictures from "Let's Go Rock Collecting" by Roma Gans comparing the sedimentary or igneous rock and the metamorphic rock it becomes.
YOU WILL NEED: magnifying glasses (brought by families) & metamorphic rocks (gneiss, marble, quartzite, slate, soapstone, and/or garnet schist) & limestone

Book to use for activity 15

Let's Go Rock Collecting (Let'S-Read-And-Find-Out Science. Stage 2)
Let's Go Rock Collecting (Let'S-Read-And-Find-Out Science. Stage 2)

We used the photos from this book that show igneous and sedimentary rocks next to the metamorphic rocks they become. This would actually be another good option for a read aloud book as it has nice illustrations and gives a good overview of rock classification. I did change a few words. "Millions of years" always becomes "thousands of years," and sedimentary rocks and fossils were made rapidly as a result of the flood as opposed to "over a long period of time."

 

Great Complete Set of Rock Samples

American Educational Classroom Collection of Rocks and Minerals
American Educational Classroom Collection of Rocks and Minerals

If you don't already have a rock collection, buy this set to get you started. It includes 50 rocks, with examples of each type of rock. Each rock has a small number sticker on it so that if the rocks get misplaced, you'll be able to place them in the correct boxes so that you can easily identify them.

 
Sedimentary Seven Layer Bar Cookies
Sedimentary Seven Layer Bar Cookies

Sedimentary Snack

16) Draw sedimentary rocks (optional) and eat Sedimentary Seven Layer Bars
a. (Optional) Draw seven layer bars next to sedimentary rocks on "The Rock Cycle" sheet and draw the lollipops next to the igneous rocks.
b. Let the children eat the Seven Layer Bars and drink water. Tell the children they're drinking water to remind them that sedimentary rocks are usually formed by water. While children eat, divide up lollipops and remaining bars for families to take home.
YOU WILL NEED: a knife for cutting bars, 16 cups for water, & 16 napkins

Breaking open geodes
Breaking open geodes

Geodes

17) While children are finishing Seven Layer Bars, talk about and show geodes. Talk about God choosing the ugly, poor, unworthy, etc. of this world (I Corinthians 1:27-31) and making us into beautiful creations - sometimes using difficult circumstances to create us into the beautiful creation He wants us to be. Go outside. Give each child a geode, and tell them to put it inside their sock. Have them smash open their geodes using their hammers. You can tell them that geodes are usually sphere shaped and contain pretty crystals. Not all of these rocks will have crystals in them. The only way to find out if they do have them is to break them open. Geodes can be found in either be sedimentary (dolomite) or igneous (lava) rocks.
YOU WILL NEED: a hammer for each child, an old sock per child or safety glasses/sunglasses for each child, & 1 geode per child (The first time I did this lesson I purchased a box of 20 geodes off e-bay for $20 including postage. They were great! The second time I did this lesson, I purchased the box of 10 geodes "Break Your Own Geodes" by GeoCentral from amazon.com. These were solid inside. The children still enjoyed them as they had something white inside, but they were not as nice as the ones that had hollow middles with crystals.)

Rock Show and Tell
Rock Show and Tell
Rock mining with seeded dirt.
Rock mining with seeded dirt.

Rock Collecting & Mining

18) Rock Show & Tell: Allow children who want to show the rock they brought show them to the group. They can share a little bit about their rock.
YOU WILL NEED: rocks brought by families

19) Rock Mining/Collecting: 3 OPTIONS:
Option 1: Sift some dirt with stones in it (gem mining dirt). Put a scoop of dirt in each of their colanders and let them use a hose or dip it in buckets of water to wash off the dirt. (You can purchase gem mining dirt on e-bay, though we bought ours for $25 at a ruby mine in North Carolina.)
Option 2: Go outside & search for rocks.
Option 3: Collect some rocks ahead of time and toss them around in some dirt or some cheap stones. If using dirt, put a scoop of dirt in each of their colanders and let them use a hose or dip it in buckets of water to wash off the dirt. If using stones, simply allow them to sort through the bag of stones to find pretty ones.
-Identify them as you are able. Then let each child select one from their collection and describe it: rough, gray, dull, sparkly, smooth, pink, etc.
YOU WILL NEED: Gem mining dirt (optional) & 12 grocery store plastic bags (for holding rocks/gems)

20) (Optional) If you are not limited by time, classify a rock using the rock detective sheet from Considering God's Creation Student Workbook.

21) Sing through all 5 verses of the "How God Put the Earth Together" song: the verses from last week about the layers of the earth and the verses this week about the 3 types of rocks.

22) Five minute review of what we learned. Ask questions such as: What kind of scientist studies rocks? (geologist) Do geologists divide rocks by how they look? (No.) How do they organize and group them? (By how they were made.) Name one type of rock. Name another. What is the 3rd type? (Sedimentary, Igneous, Metamorphic) How are sedimentary rocks formed? Igneous? Metamorphic? What was your favorite activity from today?

Joke: What did the metamorphic rock say to the igneous rock?

Don't take me for granite (granted) because I am gneiss (nice)!

Material List for the Lesson

*Everyone needs to bring per child:
-a rock that your child would like to show the group
-a hammer
-an old sock (It will be used to hold a geode & they will hit it with a hammer, so don’t bring one you care too much about.)
-magnifying glass (optional –if you have them)
-colander (optional - depending on what type of rock/gem "mining" you'll be doing)

*Items to be assigned to individuals to bring for the group:
-Books: "Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals" by Steve Tomecek & "Let's Go Rock Collecting" by Roma Gans (optional)
-different colors and textures of sand/soil
-words to the song
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 9x13 baking pan, mixing spoon, & measuring cups
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 9x13 baking pan, mixing spoon, & measuring cups
-sedimentary rocks (limestone, flint, rock salt, conglomerate, breccia, and/or shale) and a piece of limestone with a shell imprint on it or photos of these from a book if you're not able to get real rocks
-small rock that isn’t limestone, 1 small cup of water, 16 small cups of vinegar, & 16 small pieces of limestone
-2 cups sugar (premeasured in a bowl or bag), 1 cup light corn syrup, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 (1/3 ounce) boxes of cherry or other flavored jell-o [not prepared jell-o], 2 baking sheets, non-stick cooking spray, candy thermometer, mixing spoon, 16 lollipop sticks, saucepan, 16 sandwich baggies for taking them home
-igneous rocks (obsidian, pumice, basalt, diorite, scoria, and/or granite) or photos of these from a book if you're not able to get real rocks
-a large bowl of water and obsidian & pumice rocks
-9 snack size Snicker's candy bars cut in half, 16 sandwich sized ziplock bags, & 16 books
-metamorphic rocks (gneiss, marble, quartzite, slate, soapstone, and/or garnet schist) or photos of these from a book if you're not able to get real rocks
-a knife for cutting bars, 16 cups for water, & 16 napkins
-geodes
-bags of rocks

Our Favorite Picture Books on Rocks

More Great Picture Books on Rocks

Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (MathStart 3)
Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (MathStart 3)

We enjoyed this picture book because it shows a variety of ways to group and classify rocks.

 
Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!
Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!

If you are teaching preschoolers, this might be a better option. It provides a simple description of the 3 types of rocks as a bear and his mom discover them as they walk through a park. My children were especially fond of the rock jokes the bear tells his mother.

 
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston - Images are from amazon.comThe Magic School Bus Inside the Earth (Magic School Bus) by Joanna ColeJulie the Rockhound by Gail Langer KarwoskiRocks in His Head by Carol Otis HurstHard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough (Amazing Science (Picture Window)) by Rosinsky, Natalie M.Let's Rock!: Science Adventures with Rudie the Origami Dinosaur (Origami Science Adventures) by Eric BraunNational Geographic Readers: Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Weidner ZoehfeldThank God for Rocks by Esther BenderDry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary E. Parker
A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston - Images are from amazon.com
A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston - Images are from amazon.com
The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth (Magic School Bus) by Joanna Cole
The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth (Magic School Bus) by Joanna Cole
Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langer Karwoski
Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langer Karwoski
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst
Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough (Amazing Science (Picture Window)) by Rosinsky, Natalie M.
Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough (Amazing Science (Picture Window)) by Rosinsky, Natalie M.
Let's Rock!: Science Adventures with Rudie the Origami Dinosaur (Origami Science Adventures) by Eric Braun
Let's Rock!: Science Adventures with Rudie the Origami Dinosaur (Origami Science Adventures) by Eric Braun
National Geographic Readers: Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
National Geographic Readers: Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Thank God for Rocks by Esther Bender
Thank God for Rocks by Esther Bender
Dry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary E. Parker
Dry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary E. Parker

These are the rest of our favorite books to read on rocks (most of which need slight editing if you would prefer to present a Christian worldview): A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston, The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth (Magic School Bus) by Joanna Cole, Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langer Karwoski, Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst, Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough (Amazing Science (Picture Window)) by Natalie M. Rosinsky, and Let's Rock!: Science Adventures with Rudie the Origami Dinosaur (Origami Science Adventures) by Eric Braun. A good book that has photographs rather than illustrations is National Geographic Readers: Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld. (By the way, most of these books are written from an evolutionary standpoint. I changed or omitted words in most of the books.) Are you looking for Christian options? Thank God for Rocks by Esther Bender is a sweet Christian picture book about a farmer who thanks God for the rocks in his field and uses them to make walls, his home, etc. Dry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary E. Parker is a wonderful children's picture book that presents the creation of rocks and fossils from a Christian worldview.

Ready for the next lesson?

Activity from Lesson 5 on earthquakes
Activity from Lesson 5 on earthquakes

Make an edible model of the earth as you study the Earth's layers, bake cookies that demonstrate how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form, create fossil casts, build marshmallow structures that can withstand a jell-o earthquake, carve gullies and valleys in sand using wind, water, and ice, make presentations on various aspects of the Earth, and more during this 6 lesson hands-on unit study of Earth Science!

  • Earth's Layers and Soil Composition Lesson - This is part 1 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make an edible model of the earth, act out each of the Earth's layers, do core testing on a cupcake, make oobleck, and more!
  • Rock Classification Lesson - This is part 2 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make and eat "Sedimentary" Seven Layer Bars, create "Metamorphic" Snickers bars, do some rock mining, and more!
  • Fossils Lesson - This is part 3 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. The focus of this lesson is fossils! Create fossils casts, dig up and piece together dinosaur skeletons, excavate dinosaurs, eat edible ammonites, and more!
  • Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes Lesson - This is part 4 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Make edible volcanoes, build an erupting ring of fire, demonstrate plate tectonics using graham crackers, form each type of volcano using play-doh, and more!
  • Earthquakes Lesson - This is part 5 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Create a tsunami, build marshmallow structures that can withstand an earthquake, act out seismic waves, build and use a seismograph, and more!
  • Erosion Lesson - This is part 6 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Demonstrate various types of erosion as children carve gullies and valleys in sand using air, water, and ice. Re-create the Grand Canyon. Compare how soil resists erosion.
  • Earth Science Presentation and Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating project we did after a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science. We made edible volcanoes, performed earth science demonstrations, displayed paintings of the earth's layers and volcanoes, sang songs about the earth science, and more! Also included are the field trips we attended during this unit.

Be a Rock Detective!

Bill Nye on Rocks & Soil

Geology Kitchen: 3 Types of Rocks

Konos Volume II
Konos Volume II

Konos Curriculum

Would you like to teach this way every day?

Konos Curriculum

I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful Christian curriculum and was created by moms with active children! You can even watch free on-line videos as Jessica, one of the co-authors of Konos, walks you through a unit. (Look for the Explanation Videos tab.)

Konos Home School Mentor

If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!

© 2010 iijuan12

Are You a Rock Hound? Do You Love Rocks? - Or just let me know you dropped by! I love getting feedback from you!

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    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      Great lens! I love the ideas you have here!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Love the specific directions and photos! This is week two, so where are the other weeks? I'll have to look at your profile to find them......

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      @jimmielanley: You can find the remaining lessons in my Earth Science unit under "Other Lessons in My Earth Science Unit" above. I'd love tips on how to make that more visible.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Very informative and great looking lens. Awesome job!

      Maybe you'd like my lens: Homeschooling 101: Guide to Free Curriculum and Other Resources

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      My 4th grader will love doing these activities later this year! =D Thanks!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      My 4th grader will love doing these activities later this year! =D Thanks!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I love this creative lens on teaching about rock classifications using food. Blessed.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 5 years ago

      Great info and visuals. Love the recipes to use as a follow-up. Thanks for gathering this great info for us homeschooling moms. :)

      Thanks for visiting my lens too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I grew up around a lot of granite rock hills, so do enjoy that but I'm a lover of all rocks and particularly picking agates. An excellent and fun unit on rock classification...blessed.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      great plans

    • WhitU4ever profile image

      WhitU4ever 5 years ago

      Thanks for doing this. What a wonderful page for my daughter and I to use and study with as we home school!

    • profile image

      SarahHappens 5 years ago

      Opals have always been my favorite, but what can I say, I'm biased, it's my birthstone. I've just had a quick peek at all your lens topics and I feel like I'm in school again, but doing all the fun hands-on stuff! When my nieces are school-age, I'd love to try some of these activities with them (and be the cool Auntie who know everything.) Have a great day!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      I love this! Eating rocks sound harsh, but the 7 layer bars looks yummy. Good intro for the kids on rock layers, so inventive. :)

    • MoniqueDesigns profile image

      MoniqueDesigns 5 years ago

      Great hands on activities, I'm really enjoying your lenses.

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      At one point in my life, I could pick up any rock and tell you what it was. I still can ballpark it. I wish they had resources like this when I was growing up. Great lens!1

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      @JeffGilbert: Thank you!

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