Earth's Systems - The Rock Cycle - Recycling of Earth's Materials

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 133 reviews
133 Ratings
Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Formats Included
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90 pages
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What educators are saying

Great resource. We had a long term sub in our 6th grade and she found this very useful and very each way to teach the concepts.
My students really enjoyed this resource. I liked the ability to use these as stations to get the kids learning and talking.
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Learning Objective

Students will develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.


The rock cycle is an example of how Earth's materials are continually recycled. Students will learn about rocks and minerals and will love these engaging activities on the rock cycle and Earth's materials. This is part of the science standard Earth's Materials and Systems. Students will learn about the rock cycle through hands-on labs and close reading activities.

This middle school science resource includes:

  • nonfiction text passages on the rock cycle
  • response pages with text-dependent questions
  • hands-on labs
  • follow-up pages
  • interactive notebook folds and flaps
  • slide shows on metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks
  • QR code research
  • a sorting activity

This resource has scientific reading passages with comprehension questions aligned with Middle School CCSS for Reading informational text.

This resource is aligned with the NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth Materials and Systems.

This resource is designed to meet the standard for NGSS Earths Systems:

NGSS MS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.

It is also aligned with:

Utah SEEd 7.2.1 Develop a model of the rock cycle to describe the relationship between energy flow and matter cycling that create igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Emphasize the process of melting, crystallization, weathering, deposition, sedimentation, and deformation, which act together to form minerals and rocks.

Students will learn through the slide show, reading, and labs that Earth's materials are cycled throughout our Earth's system. They will learn how each type of rock (metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous) is formed. They will learn that all three types of rocks can be broken down and recycled in the rock cycle to make new rocks.

Science Concepts Addressed Include:

The Rock Cycle





Metamorphic rocks






Heat and pressure

Recycling of matter




Science and Engineering Practices Students Will Use Include:

Asking Questions

Developing and Using Models

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Constructing explanations

Engaging in argument from evidence

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts addressed include:


Cause and Effect

Scale, Proportion, and Quantify

System and System Models

Structure and Function

Stability and Change

Save 20% by purchasing in the Middle School Earth Science Bundle.

Save 20% by Purchasing in the Earth's Systems Science Bundle for Middle School

Purchase in the Utah SEEd 7th Grade Bundle and save 20%

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By Lynda R. Williams

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Total Pages
90 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. Examples of data include similarities of rock and fossil types on different continents, the shapes of the continents (including continental shelves), and the locations of ocean structures (such as ridges, fracture zones, and trenches). Paleomagnetic anomalies in oceanic and continental crust are not assessed.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. Emphasis is on the processes of melting, crystallization, weathering, deformation, and sedimentation, which act together to form minerals and rocks through the cycling of Earth’s materials. Assessment does not include the identification and naming of minerals.


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