1. Crayon Rock Cycle - Assessments


  1. 9th grade teacher Marcie Krech, has a list of great extension activities related to the rock cycle. They include a vocabulary cut & paste, a lab, a whole class puzzle, a game and a comic strip activity. In fact, Marcie has put her whole Earth Science curriculum online for others to learn from. Thank you!
  2. Give students rocks to classify as sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic.

Going Further

  1. Make sedimentary rocks! Any sediment (powdered clay, silt, playground sand, or a sand and gravel mixture) can be turned into a sedimentary rock with the addition of a dilute sodium silicate solution. See the Sources section for where to purchase sodium silicate. The recipe:
    • 15 ml dilute sodium silicate, dilute full strength sodium silicate with water in a 1 to 1 ratio (a 20 ml syringe is a great measuring tool and dispenser for this viscous solution)
    • 6 tablespoons of sediment (playground sand works great although kids like to mix and match sediments for their own special rock type)

    Mix the sediment and sodium silicate in a clear plastic 9 oz cup with a disposable stirrer like a popsicle stick. Be careful not to get sodium silicate on your hands or in your eyes. Smooth out the surface of the mixture with the stirrer. Set aside for 2 days. Once the mixture is completely dry, it can be popped out of the cup and examined up close. If you plan on doing the Layers Upon Layers lesson, consider adding layers of a different sedimentary rock on top of the first before removing the rock from the cups. You are, in effect, creating a permanent version of the  depositional cups formed in the Layers Upon Layers lesson.

  2. Try the History of Rock lesson where students research a rock and discover the story of its formation.
  3. The National Parks Service has a great collection of teacher lesson plans related to rocks and the rock cycle called Geodetectives. There are individual activities for each of the 3 main rock types, a candy rock cycle activity, and a brilliant idea for comparing rocks to identify which rocks are best used for what purposes – building a house, tools, jewelry, etc.