Skip to Content
Lab-Aids Store

The Rock Cycle: An Interactive Exploration

Kit #430

This activity provides an active-learning alternative to traditional passive methods of studying the rock cycle. As students “become” a small quantity of earth material and “travel” through the rock cycle, they experience the interrelated processes and materials that shape the world around us. Eight rock cycle stations, each representing a different form rocks and earth materials can take, are set up in the classroom. Each station is labeled and provided with a spinner that provides information about that portion of the rock cycle and helps direct students to other stations of the rock cycle. After a given period of time, students analyze the pattern of their movement between stations, calculate geologic time relative to those movements, and generalize this pattern to help them understand what has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen inside, and on top of, the earth around them.

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates unlimited classes, each with 8 groups of 4 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • All materials are non-consumable
  • Includes digital resources

Scientific Concepts

•Rocks can be classified as one of three rock types based on how they form.
•Sedimentary rocks are formed by the ongoing deposition of rocks and other sediments that are cemented together.
•Igneous rocks are formed when molten rock, called magma, cools and solidifies.
•Metamorphic rocks are formed from the effect of the Earth’s heat and/or pressure on rocks buried deep in the Earth.
•Some changes in Earth materials can be described as the “rock cycle”.
•Living organisms have played many roles in the Earth system.
•Earth processes acting today are the same or similar to those that have acted in the past.
KEY VOCABULARY: igneous, metamorphic, rock cycle, sediments, magma, natural resource, sedimentary

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 32 Student Worksheets and Guides
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #1 Magma
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #2 Sediments
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #3 Materials Made by Living Organisms
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #4 Materials in Solution
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #5 Plutonic Igneous Rock
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #6 Volcanic Igneous Rock
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #7 Sedimentary Rock
  • 1 Station Card W/Spinner: #8 Metamorphic Rock