Rock On! Geology
(Designed for grades 2-4)
To learn how rocks are formed, how to identify rocks, and how rocks are categorized.
30-45 minutes; mining activity is optional and requires an additional fee and additional time during your visit. We recommend that chaperones take students in groups of 10 at a time to do the mining activity.
The whole earth is made of rocks & minerals. Inside the earth is a layer of molten rock; on the outside, there is a hard crust which is covered by water, sand, soil and rock. A rock is made up of 1 or more minerals. A mineral is non-living and composed of 1 or more elements that are only found in nature.
- Naturally occurring
There are three categories of rocks:
Rocks can be identified by their physical properties. Some of these include: luster, hardness, texture, cleavage, streak, structure, color, magnetism, and acid test.
This program meets the following Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and is STEAM compliant:
SC.3.P.8.3: Compare materials/objects according to properties, such as size, shape, color, texture, and hardness
SC.4.E.6.1: Identify the 3 categories of rocks: igneous (formed from molten rock); sedimentary (pieces of other rocks and fossilized organisms); and metamorphic (formed from heat & pressure)
SC.4.E.6.2: Identify the physical properties of common earth-forming minerals, including hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color, and recognize the role of minerals in the formation of rocks
MAFS.3.MD.1.2: Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units.
VA.(1,2,3,4,5).C.3.2: Compare artworks with utilitarian objects and use accurate art vocabulary to describe how they are the same and how they are different.
- Encourage students to look around and name some things that they see that are made of rocks.
- Ask each student to research a specific rock and give a brief report to the class.
- If your group chose to participate in the optional mining activity (mining bags are sold at the Petting Zoo), ask students to use the Cold River Mining rock identification brochure that they received, along with what they learned during the Geology program to identify some of the rock specimens that they discovered during the mining activity.
- Students could try one of the scientific experiments on one or more of their rocks:
Does it float? What happens if you add vinegar? Is it magnetic?