The Rock Cycle and 3 Kinds of Rocks


What is the rock cycle?  The Rock Cycle is  a continuous process by which rocks are created, changed from one form to another,

 destroyed,and then formed again into a different type of rock. The rock cycle occurs in the different layers of the Earth. The 3 types of rocks are: SEDIMENTARY, Metamorphic and IGNEOUS.  Here are our ROCK FLAP BOOKS we made and illustrated to show the 3 kinds of rocks. 

Igneous rocks flap book pages.  We drew a Cool volcano and shiny, black, volcanic mica rocks. 

For igneous rocks we drew volcanoes of course….and Andrew and his mom came in
and showed us a fun model volcano using the baking soda and vinegar experiment… was enjoyed by all! 

Sedimentary flap pages…. we learned that sedimentary rocks include fossils of dead animals and plants and pebbles and shells, because they are found in sediments leftover from water areas of the earth. 
For Sedimentary Rock we drew a canyon  or an arch near a lake where you might find fossils,  and sedimentary types of rocks..

Here were some “fossils” we made with plaster of paris to go along with what you find in sedimentary rocks.
Metamorphic rocks….we drew models showing the inside of the earth cut open and a type of
rock that would have some crystals inside of it from all that underground heat and pressure.
Metamorphic rocks used to be either igneous or sedimentary. 

Rock Flap Books – Metamorphic Rocks page….

A cool lesson plan and free worksheet on  layers of the earth can be found HERE at Volcanoes Alive.
Another one I liked is at It had a downloadable fill in the blank diagram that looked fun and both of these will go along with my clay lesson plan. Another great resource for Rocks is HERE at mjksc teaching ideas. 

We also made crystals from ammonia, salt, bluing and some charcoal briquettes. 

We learned about the Rock Cycle – mostly from this THINKQUEST and a few books and posters on Rocks, Volcanos, Crystals. I have posters like these in my classroom, plus we watched the Magic School Bus video on Volcanoes.  Thanks to one of my mom helpers and Andrew, her son, we had a cool demonsotration of a Volcano erupting using baking soda and vinegar and a model volcano. At Teaching Ideas there is a fun matching activity that kids might like to do at a science center.

ROCK FAMILY SONG Check out this song about the different types of rocks HERE.

A fun wordsearch and a little quiz on layers of the earth to go with it can be downloaded Share It is a little tricky to figure out how to download it, just follow the directions (type in the code) on the upper left hand side of the page. If you go anywhere else it is all advertising tricks. Another one she had was giving each student a mini snickers bar unwrapped in a baggie. They press and sit and stand on the snickers bar and it becomes “changed” like a metamorphic rock, with heat and pressure. What a great idea!

Here are one of our crystals close up. It was very colorful. The top shows the “tree” we made out of
cardboard and how it really grew a bunch of cool crystals. The bottom is a rainbow looking, charcoal piece. 

HERE  is a cute printable SONG about the 3 types of ROCKS!

Check out ROCKY’s Rock Cycle. Also HERE  at Have Fun Teaching is a Rocks ABC Order Worksheet we also did. It has many of the vocabulary words we studied this week.This KIDS GEO.COM website is SUPER GREAT  because it has  cute songs to go along with  WONDERFUL pictures of all 3 rock types.

I ordered this book from Amazon along with another one called “The Rock Factory” by Jacqui Bailey. Both were great for introducing rocks to kids.

CLICK ON THE BOOK ABOVE to order one. Another cute activity I wanted to do this year too is to have the kids paint a Pet Rock. I collected smooth river rocks from Bear Lake this past summer for that very purpose, since I knew I’d be teaching rocks and minerals.

A bunch of fun worksheets I found HERE at School Express. There are word scrambles and word searches with ROCKS as the theme. A cute song I found at  at Beakers and Bumblebees  as well as some fun, edible experiments we could do. I think I’ll try the one with red, chocolate disks, melted like hot magma or lava, and then reformed when cooled into “igneous” rocks.  We could add some chipped candy canes to the hot magma like gems and crystals which are sometimes found in igneous rocks. We looked at photos of Mt. St. Helens the volcano that erupted in Washington, and we looked at Calderas in Yellowtone National Park.


  1. Do you know what a rock wants to be when it  grows up??   
  2. What do you call a dog who collects rocks? 
  3. What do you do to a baby rock? 
  4. What is a rock’s favorite kind of music? 
  5. Where do rocks sleep? 
  6. How do rocks wash their clothes? 
  7. What is a rock’s favorite transportation? 
  8. What is a rock’s favorite cereal? 
  9. Where is a rock’s favorite golf course? 
  10. What is a rock’s favorite television show?


  1. A Rock Star
  2. A Rockhound 
  3. Rock it 
  4. Rock ‘N Roll 
  5. Bedrock 
  6. On the rock cycle 
  7. A rocket 
  8. Cocoa Pebbles 
  9. Pebble Beach 
  10. “Third Rock from the Sun”

We also did “Layers of the Earth” with models in crayon and clay (with a BB for the solid core). Check them out HERE.

We did our spelling list using these words as well as vocabulary this week.
1. Igneous rock- rock formed from cooled magma or lava.
2. Sedimentary rock- rock that formed when sediments were pressed and cemented together.
3. Metamorphic rock- rock that formed when another kind of rock was squeezed and heated deep inside Earth’s crust.
4. Rock cycle- the process of rocks changing into other kinds of rock.
5. Fossils- the remains or traces of an organism that lived long ago.
6. Volcano- a mountain built up from hardened lava, rocks, and ash that erupted out of Earth.
7. Lava-melted rock that flows out of the ground onto Earth’s surface.
8. Magma- melted rock below Earths surface

9. erosion – when bits of rock and sand are taken away by wind or water and packed as sediment somewhere else. 
10. crystals – a mineral having a clear structure with cut faces. (like quartz) 
We are almost done with our unit. It’s really been fun to teach earth science to my students. 

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