Modeling the Rock Cycle with Starburst Science Experiment PRINT and DIGITAL

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 34 reviews
34 Ratings
LaFountaine of Knowledge
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
21 print, 23 digital
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LaFountaine of Knowledge

What educators are saying

I teach an after school science cub and my kids LOVED this hands on activity! I had some tell me they even did it again at home!
We had SO much fun with this that my students turned it into a demonstration for younger classes as well.
Also included in
  1. This bundle includes 10 hands-on science labs and activities all related to the Earth: rocks, fossils, minerals, crystals, tectonic plates, etc. This includes: Experiment: Modeling the Rock Cycle with StarburstExperiment: Modeling Tectonic Plates with Graham CrackersSTEM Challenge: Construct an Eart
    Price $22.20Original Price $37.00Save $14.80


In this hands-on science experiment, students use Starburst candies to model how rocks can change between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic in the rock cycle. This resource includes:

  • Teacher directions, discussion questions, and extension activities
  • 5 pages of background information about the rock cycle
  • 11 pages of directions that walk students through the activity step by step with photos of each step.
  • A student record sheet
  • Student response questions
  • A scoring rubric
  • A force copy link to a Google Slides digital version (including a digital, drag and drop version of the response page and response questions)

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Credits: All photos used with permission and sourced via Unsplash. Background by Oliver Paaske, photo on page 3 by Deniz Altindas, photo on page 4 by Micahel Dziedzic, photo on page 5 by Tanya Grypachevskaya, photo on page 6 by Jocelyn Morales. All other photos were taken by Shea LaFountaine of LaFountaine of Knowledge. Clip art on page 19 by Photo Clipz, The Cher Room, Teach Your Children Well, and P4 Clips Trioriginals. Fonts used include: Amatic SC by Vernon Adams and Coming Soon by Open Window. Fonts used with permission under open source licenses.  

Total Pages
21 print, 23 digital
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history. Emphasis is on how analyses of rock formations and the fossils they contain are used to establish relative ages of major events in Earth’s history. Examples of Earth’s major events could range from being very recent (such as the last Ice Age or the earliest fossils of homo sapiens) to very old (such as the formation of Earth or the earliest evidence of life). Examples can include the formation of mountain chains and ocean basins, the evolution or extinction of particular living organisms, or significant volcanic eruptions. Assessment does not include recalling the names of specific periods or epochs and events within them.
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.
Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features. Maps can include topographic maps of Earth’s land and ocean floor, as well as maps of the locations of mountains, continental boundaries, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. Examples of variables to test could include angle of slope in the downhill movement of water, amount of vegetation, speed of wind, relative rate of deposition, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling, and volume of water flow. Assessment is limited to a single form of weathering or erosion.


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