HUGE Rocks and Minerals Unit w/ 5E Lessons | NGSS Aligned | Homeschool approved

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244 Ratings
Lotts of Learning
Grade Levels
3rd - 7th, Homeschool
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412 pages
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What educators are saying

This packet is huge and covers so many topics. I'm using it with a large age gap and am able to accommodate early readers to late elementary school with the same packet.
This is an excellent resource for teaching my students about rocks and minerals. The activities are so much fun for my students!


This HUGE, 3-week rocks and minerals unit includes everything you need to teach your upper elementary students (or children if you're homeschooling) about rocks and minerals in an engaging and hands-on way. Whether you're a rookie that doesn't know the difference between a rock and a mineral, or a veteran that's been teaching Earth Science for many years, this product includes many components that will make teaching rocks and minerals enjoyable for you and for your students. It can either provide an entire unit for you (great for those of you who are homeschooling this year), or it can be used to enhance your own unit. This resource will save you hours of work because everything is all planned out in my easy-to-follow, very detailed, lesson plans. Please click the preview where you can view every single page of this unit.

Included are 8 lesson plans that are interactive, engaging, hands-on, and very detailed. Five of the lesson plans follow the 5E Model. My lesson plans are written so thoroughly, that even a sub could pick them up and know what to do! Each lesson also includes a teacher note that gives the background knowledge and content a teacher would need to know in order to teach that lesson. My notes explain the difference between rocks and minerals, what the properties of minerals are, the difference between weathering and erosion, how each type of rock is formed, and so much more. These notes will save you so much time because you won’t need to try and research the content yourself, I've already done the research for you!

This unit includes the following products (feel free to click the links to get a closer look at each product):

-Hershey's vs. Snickers (A lesson that you can use to introduce your rocks and minerals unit. It teaches the difference between a rock and a mineral.)

-Mineral Lesson Plans (Two lesson plans that teach about the properties of minerals)

-Three Types of Rocks (A lesson plan that teaches the three types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. It comes with a PowerPoint, differentiated companion handouts, fun assessments, interactive notebook pages, and a mini growth mindset lesson.)

-Rock Cycle Lesson with Starbursts (A very thorough lesson plan that teaches the Rock Cycle using Starbursts. It also includes a narrative writing activity)

-Rocks and Minerals Study Guide and Test (I have used this test for 3 years, and it each year the students that did well on my test, did well on the rocks and minerals portion of the SAGE test. It also comes with a review game)

-Rocks and Minerals Posters (100 vocabulary posters)

***All of these resources add up to more than $20. Save by buying this unit. By buying this unit, you not only get all of the above resources, but you will also be getting 3 BONUS lesson plans and task cards (products that you cannot buy separately.)

This unit is ideally taught with real rocks and minerals for the students to touch, feel, and study. But what if you can’t get specimens for your class? The great thing about this unit is that it includes real photographs of the rocks and minerals that you will need in each lesson. Just print them off in color and you’re ready to go!

Along with 8 detailed lesson plans and real photographs, this unit includes:

•A shopping list that includes everything you will need to buy/gather for this unit

•Vocabulary posters and Rock Cycle posters

•5 different title page choices for student booklets

•Graphic organizers needed for each lesson

•Answer keys for all graphic organizers

•Rock Cycle Story activity

•A Relay-Race review game

•A Rocky Land review board game

•32 Task Cards

•A Study Guide

•End of unit assessment

•End of unit assessment answer key


Lesson 1 Hershey's vs. Snickers (An introductory lesson that teaches the difference between rocks and minerals. This lesson follows the 5E model.)

Lesson 2 All About Minerals (A lesson that teaches the properties of minerals and Mohs Scale of Hardness. This lesson follows the 5E model.)

Lesson 3 Station Rotation (Students will identify an unknown mineral by rotating from station to station and studying its properties. This lesson follows the 5E model.)

Lesson 4 Rock or Mineral? (Students try and decide whether each specimen is a rock or a mineral.)

Lesson 5 My Rock (Students observe and draw a rock. Then they list the minerals found inside of it.)

Lesson 6 Sorting Rocks (Students get to bring their own rocks from home and sort them in groups. They then learn about the three main categories rocks are sorted into: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. This lesson follows the 5E model.)

Lesson 7 Classifying Rocks (Students observe the characteristics of various rocks to determine whether it is igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic.)

Lesson 8 The Rock Cycle with Starbursts (Students use Starbursts to complete the rock cycle. This lesson follows the 5E model.)


Mineral photographs include: mica, quartz, feldspar, sulfur, calcite, gypsum, and pink halite.

Igneous photographs include: pumice, scoria, basalt, granite, gabbro, and obsidian

Sedimentary photographs include: sandstone, limestone, conglomerate, coal, and shale

Metamorphic photographs include: gneiss, schist, slate, soapstone, marble, and quartzite.


geologist, rock, mineral, luster, Mohs Scale, hardness, acid reaction, mineral cleavage, sediments, igneous rock, sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock, intrusive igneous, extrusive igneous, lava, magma, weathering, erosion, compaction and cementation, rock cycle, and gemstone.

CCSS Alignment:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

NGSS Alignment:

4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.


Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. 

MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales

And Utah SEEd Standard 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.

© Lotts of Learning 2017

Total Pages
412 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant fossils and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time; and, a canyon with different rock layers in the walls and a river in the bottom, indicating that over time a river cut through the rock. Assessment does not include specific knowledge of the mechanism of rock formation or memorization of specific rock formations and layers. Assessment is limited to relative time.


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