The rock cycle! Science is such a fun subject to teach. Students are able to use all those fabulous kinesthetic skills for the experiments, which is a great way to enhance any lesson. Currently, students in my classroom are learning about the water and rock cycles. For this specific activity, we were working on understanding the rock cycle.
In this experiment, student’s used crayons to help them grasp the changes in the rock cycle. We started with a crayon. It represented igneous rock. Students took plastic knives to shave off ‘sediments’ from the igneous rock. While using the knife, the students were representing weathering of the igneous rock. These pieces became sedimentary rock.
Next, sedimentary rocks were layered on aluminum foil. In nature, sedimentary rocks could be moved around through erosion, which could be from flood or wind damage. To show how metamorphic rocks are created, a student used a piece of aluminum foil to press the layered sedimentary rocks together. Doing this, represents the needed heat and pressure to create metamorphic rock.
Finally, the heat and pressure from the center of the earth melted the metamorphic rock into magma. Once the magma cooled and hardened it became igneous rock. Thus, the continuation of the rock cycle. For this activity, students had a great time learning about how rocks continuously change.
The experiment consisted of a lot of hands-on learning, which is something essential in the learning process for my students. They enjoyed completing the experiment and also made a lot of progress in understanding how the rock cycle works. To help reinforce the lesson, the students watched a StudyJams video on the rock cycle. To watch the video, search ‘rock cycle’ on the StudyJams website.