- At least 4 samples for each of the following 12 rocks:
- Igneous Rocks: Pumice, Obsidian, Basalt, & Granite
- Sedimentary Rocks: Sandstone, Limestone, Conglomerate, & Coal
- Metamorphic Rocks: Slate, Gneiss, Hornfels, & Marble
- Rocks, Gems, and Minerals Guide – classroom set
- Handouts for note-taking
- Flashcards – print out and glue onto index cards (pdf)
- each student made their own set to keep
- Index cards with rock IDs on them
- 1 set per lab table
- Paper plates
- 12 plates with rock IDs
- additional plates: 1 set per table if not using index cards
Students will learn to identify & categorize 12 common rocks samples during this multi-day lesson. To introduce the unit, students are given the foundation of how rocks form and the three types of rocks: Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary.
Working with a partner and/or in small groups, they will research, handle, and compare the rock specimens and take careful notes at the different stations. Once their research is done, they will practice identifying the rock samples by creating and teaching each other different games using the rocks samples.
Some games the students played are:
- Sort the rocks into 3 piles: I, S, or M, who can do it the fastest?
- Rock races
- 2 students are given 6 rocks each to find and sort from the pile of 12
- can you find it? Name a rock and pick it from the pile
- Match the rock samples to the name of the rock
- Mis-match some of the rocks with their ID cards, can you figure out which ones are incorrect?
- Rock Quiz – creating questions from the index cards
- Which rock is the only intrusive igneous rock?
- Which rock floats on water?
- Which one used to be limestone?
For more lessons related to Rocks & Minerals, be sure to visit my Earth Science Page (link).