Learning Exercise

Let's learn the rock cycle

A day of involvement to learn how rocks form and change.
Course: Earth Science

Want a visual to help your students learn the rock cycle? This cutaway view of Earth shows where some common... see more


Begin with a 20 minutes discussion on the rock cycle using the following URL as a visual. Walk the students through the rock cycle, highlighting the different stages which form the different types of rocks. The second 20 minutes have the kids do "observing effects of Pressure on Minerals" lab. Have students make golf ball size "rocks" out of modeling clay with beads distributed on the outside. Sandwich the model rock between 2 pieces of waxed paper and use their weight to apply pressure to model rock. Remove the waxed paper and observe the "metamorphosed" rock. The students can draw before and after pictures of their rock drawing arrows of where pressure was applied. Have them cute their rock in half and draw a crosscut picture.


The rock cycle

Type of Task

Learning Objectives

Students know how to explain the properties of rocks and chemical conditions in which they formed.


Have students write a two paragraphs on what happened to the "model" rock, what forces in nature are represented by the pressure of their hands, and where in the rock cycle would this tranformation of rock take place.