rocks and minerals

Intro to Rocks Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn that rocks are made of minerals and are classified according to how they formed. They will also learn that weathering and erosion constantly break down surface rocks.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The Earth is thought to be about 4.6 billion years old. Because rocks can provide valuable information about the Earth in previous times, MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Minerals Rock!" is a good one for the photo of the granite? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students what they think the phrase "solid as a rock" means. (It usually implies a non-changing situation.) Now that students know that rocks constantly move, break down, and become other rocks, does this phrase seem as true?
  2. Write about it: Have students imagine they are geologists exploring the Grand Canyon. What do they think they would see? Why would it become more exciting as they move deeper into the canyon?

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on rocks and minerals.


Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to rocks by using each defined word in a sentence.



Rock Specimen Report
Grade: 3 - 5
Students collect samples of rocks and record their observations.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Rocks & Minerals

Get an in-depth, comprehensive look at rocks and minerals with a unique integration of words and pictures.

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