ROCK AROUND THE HOUSE
Grades 2 - 3
This lesson introduces the three types of rock: sedimentary,
metamorphic and igneous. Students will also learn how rocks are made. Then,
through the use of interactive video, students will learn about some man-made
rocks, identify rocks that they have around the house and weigh some rock
Take A look: Rocks # 114
Students will be able to:
- tell the difference between three kinds of rock
- tell how each kind of rock is made
- recognize where rocks are found
- identify rocks around their house
- chart paper or chalkboard
- markers or chalk
For each student:
For each group of 5 students:
- a small rock collection
- balance scale
- set of gram weights
- sentence strips marked:
Heaviest to Lightest
Largest to Smallest
Ask students for a definition of a rock and brainstorm where
they can be found. Chart responses on chart paper.
Group students and give each group a small collection of rocks. Ask, "Are
their ways that your rocks can be classified?" Allow students to sort
Discuss the qualities used to classify. Students may have classified according
to size, shape, color(s). Tell students that scientists use a special way
to divide rocks into groups. Say, "We are going to watch a video segment
about rocks. In this video, a woman named Kate teaches a boy named Jeffrey
about the different types of rocks."
Ask students to put their rock collections in the middle of
the tables. Pass out paper and pencils. To give students a specific responsibility
while viewing, ask students to listen for how many different types of rocks
there are and note where they come from.
START the video at the point near the beginning where
the title is displayed and Jeffrey is asking, "Did you ever take a
close look at a rock and wonder where it came from?"
PAUSE the video, to clarify the question concerning the origin of
a rock, and ask the students if they ever had ever wondered about where
rocks came from.
RESUME the video and play to the part where Kate says, "There
are only three types of rock".
PAUSE the video to check comprehension. Ask, "How many different
types of rock are there?" To give students a specific responsibility
for viewing, ask them to listen for the names of the three types of rocks
and where they come from.
PLAY the video through the section that explains the sedimentary,
metamorphic and igneous rock types.
STOP the video to check comprehension. If students forget the names
of the types of rock remind them about the sandwich, cookies, and fudge
Kate used as examples. Write the names of the rocks and the definitions
of each type of rock on chart paper. Discuss the role that minerals play
in rock formation. Have the students write the names on their papers.
RESUME the video and PAUSE just after you see the yellow question
mark on the blue background and the pictures of the three different types
of rocks appear. Ask for volunteers to come up to the television and write
the names of the different types of rock on the screen. Students may use
their papers or the chart to copy the names.
RESUME the video to validate responses.
STOP the video after Jeffrey has reviewed the types of rock and their
formation. Then, say, "We know that there are rocks everywhere in the
Earth. We know how they are made by nature. But do you know that there are
man-made rocks? Now we are going to watch another segment of this video
to show you two kinds of man-made rocks". To give the students a specific
purpose for viewing, ask them to list the articles made from man-made rock.
REUME the video and play through the descriptions of the bone china
PAUSE the video and ask students to identify the two articles made
from man-made rock.
REWIND the video to review this segment again. This time the specific
responsibility for viewing should be to find out what type of rock bone
china and crystal are made from.
STOP the video to check comprehension and emphasize that man-made
rock uses various recipes but follows the patterns of nature. Crystal is
man-made igneous rock. Then say, "We know that rocks can be found everywhere,
especially outside. In the video, we have also seen that rocks can be found
inside a house. Can you think of more rocks that can be found in a house?"
Chart any responses. Say, "Now we will watch the video to learn about
more rocks that are found in houses. List the ones you see".
RESUME the video but mute it. Let the students tell the names of
the rocks as they appear.
PLAY the video through the picture of the marble.
PAUSE to check comprehension.
REWIND the video. Then ask the students as their specific responsibility
for viewing, to add the name of each rock and its type as it is explained
STOP the video after the marble is classified as metamorphic rock.
Review the types of rock and their formation: sedimentary formed in layers,
metamorphic formed by heat and pressure and igneous formed as liquid minerals
cool. Ask the students to look at their rock collections again and see if
they can identify different rocks by type and group them accordingly.
After students have had time to identify, group and discuss
their rocks have them switch rock collections with another group. Tell students
that they are going to be detectives. Students should look at the new rocks
and try to guess which rocks will weigh more just by looking at them. Remind
students that rocks are made of minerals and that some minerals weigh more
than others. The largest rock will not necessarily be the heaviest rock.
Have students predict the heaviest and the lightest rocks.
Review the use of a balance scale as a tool to measure weight. The scale
must be level or balanced for accuracy of measurement. Pass out the balances,
gram weights and sentence strips labeled "Heaviest to Lightest"
and "Largest to Smallest".
Have students weigh their rocks with the gram units, total the weight and
write it on their papers. When all the group members have weighed their
rocks, the group should use the recorded weights to arrange their rocks
on the sentence strip marked "Heaviest to Lightest" and observe
the results. Then the students should rearrange the rocks on the sentence
strip marked "Largest to Smallest" and note any differences.
When the groups have finished ask for a speaker from each group to give
the weight of their heaviest rock and their lightest rock. Find the differences
in the weights. Then find the heavyweight and lightweight champions of the
- Arrange a field trip to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum
to view the excellent exhibit of rock specimens. Plan to stop off at the
hogback to see the road cut which displays different rock formation layers.
- Students can also visit a Museum of Natural History to see the rock
and mineral exhibits.
Create a song that helps students remember the types of rock and their formation.
Example: Here are some new lyrics to the tune of "Brother John".
Formed in layers, under water.
Pressed together for many years, Pressed together for many years.
Sandstone, limestone, shale
Sandstone, limestone, shale.
Rock formed from other rocks
Changed by heat and pressure
Changed by heat and pressure
Marble, slate, gneiss
Marble, slate, gneiss
Rocks from volcanoes
Rocks from volcanoes
Hot melted liquid cools and hardens
Lava, granite, basalt
Lava, granite, basalt.
Make a layered sand jar. Mix sand with food coloring or dry tempera. Pour
different colors into a baby food jar. Add some layers on an angle, gently
press a spoon around the edges, or poke a pencil on the sides to create
Rocks tell about the place where they were found. Arrange a rock swap with
a classroom in another part of town or another state. Tell the participants
to note the place where each rock was found. Rocks from different states
have mineral content that is denoted by color. For example: red indicates
iron. Yellow rocks contain sulfur. White specimens may contain broken shells
To show how glaciation cracks rocks, place an assortment of rocks, sand,
and mounds of soil on a metal tray along with some ice cubes. Watch how
the water from the melting ice cubes moves the items on the tray.
Rocks are named for size, the place found or a specific property they contain.
Have fun guessing about where rocks and minerals got their names. Then look
up the different names.
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor
The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole
Rock Collecting by Roma Gans
Rocks and Soil by Janet Hale
The Big Rock by Bruce Hiscock
Natural Wonders of North America by Catherine O'Neill
I Can Be a Geologist by Paul Sipiera
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Rocks and Minerals by Herbert S. Zim
Master Teacher: Sandy Stokely
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online