You search, we listen. “Rocks” is one of the most frequent search terms on learner.org, so we are highlighting resources for teaching about rocks in this curriculum focus.
Students discover different types of rocks and how rocks change with the Rock Cycle Interactive. Students build geological vocabulary, name the different parts of the rock cycle, and take an assessment at the end. This activity is great for independent study in the classroom and at home.
Students learn how melting rock deep inside the earth forms volcanoes with the Volcanoes Interactive. They practice raising and lowering the temperature of rocks to experience how rocks respond to temperature inside the earth.
The Habitable Planet, unit 1, “Many Planets, One Earth,” section 3, Reading Geologic Records, explains how scientists use rocks and fossils to define geologic time phases in Earth’s history on a geologic time scale. Rocks and fossils tell the story of Earth’s animal and environmental history.
What are igneous rocks and how are they formed? Earth and Space Science, session 3, “Journey to the Earth’s Interior,” compares extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks, and relates lava to the movement of tectonic plates. This workshop includes an activity for teachers to identify young students’ ideas about the structure of the earth, ideas that help inform science lessons.
More resources for teaching about rocks:
Earth Revealed, program 10, “Geologic Time”
Earth Revealed, program 14, “Intrusive Igneous Rocks”
Earth Revealed, program 17, “Sedimentary Rocks: The Key to Past Environments”
Earth Revealed, program 18, “Metamorphic Rocks”