rocks & minerals
Grade K-2: Properties of Rocks
This lesson centers on students making detailed observations of rocks. Through their observations, students will begin to develop an understanding there are many types of rocks with a multitude of different attributes. Although students in the K-2 level are not yet ready to learn about the names of different kinds of rocks or the geological reasons for different rock formations, they are ready to understand there are many sizes and shapes of rocks in our environment. They are able to recognize that our earth has sand, which is very small particles of rock; pebbles and small rocks that they may find in the dirt; and large mountains.
Activity 1: Students will bring in their own rocks and make observation about size, shapes, and characteristics.
Activity 2: Using their rock collection from Activity 1, the students will sort the rocks into groups with common characteristics and differences.
Activity 3: Using a rock from Activity 2, the students will describe in detail the characteristics of their rock, measure it using a paperclip ruler, and compare its weight to other students’ rocks.
Lesson 1: The students will explore and know the uses by identifying a rock from clues generated by class members and creating different uses for their rocks.
Lesson 2: Students will write a story called “If I were a rock…” including what the rock would be used for if the student were a rock. In this lesson, they will explore different characteristics which determine the uses of a rock.
Grade 3-5: Rock Cycle and Rock Testing
Basic: Using inquiry/discovery, the students will be able to identify the three different types of rocks by looking at rock characteristics and processes of formation. They will observe rock samples and categorize them according to their common characteristics.
Advanced: The students will use the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness to determine the hardness of various minerals provided in the kit.
4. 2: Describe and measure the physical properties of the Earth’s basic materials (including soil, rock, water, and gases) and the resources they provide.
Identify that soil is made from rocks
Identify that different rocks exist (color, texture)
Compare and classify rocks based on color and texture
Equipment Provided in the Kit
20 Handheld lens (plastic covers on)
8 Red cans
“Everybody Needs a Rock” by Byrd Baylor
Strawberry “weigh” basket
Collection of Rocks – larger kit
Fluorescent Long and Short Wave – small kit
UV lamp – black bag
Adapter for UV light
4 Small Hardness Rock kits
“Using Rocks” by Sharon Katz Cooper
Rock Cycle Model Activity Set
Rock and Minerals Name Game
Rock Cycle 3-D Model display
Rocks Let’s Take a Closer Look
Rock Interview Worksheet
Creative Uses For My Rock
What is this Rock – Reference Sheet
What is this Rock Activity
What is this Rock – Cards
Mohs Scale #1
Mohs scale #2
for more information:
Lauren Rivers, STEM Enrichment Director