Rock Sorting Activity
As you are probably already aware, rocks can in many different shapes and sizes. They can also be sorted into three main groups: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary.
This rocks lesson plan lets kids engage in an easy rock sorting activity, classifying rock samples while learning about their appearance and how they are formed.
Three Types of Rock:
- Igneous (Volcanic)
- Metamorphic (Changed)
- Sedimentary (Layered)
- Igneous - Igneous rocks are formed from cooled lava. They may have crystals, air bubbles or a glassy surface. They can also appear hard and dense
- Metamorphic - Changed by heat and pressure, sometimes split into many layers that look like a stack of pancakes with different mineral grains running through the rock.
- Sedimentary - Often formed from mud or sand settling at the bottom of water. The rock may contain fossils, have wavy horizontal lines, layers, grains you can see or be dusty.
- Organize a number of different rock examples as well as a booklet or worksheet for students to complete.
- Let the students investigate each rock sample, writing the characteristics they noticed and ultimately sorting the rocks into what they think is the correct type, igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary.
- Confirm afterwards both the name of the rocks and the rock type they are a part of. How many did the students get correct? Which were the hardest to sort and why?