Rock Cycle Lesson with Starbursts: Are you looking for a lesson plan that introduces and explains the rock cycle in a fun way? This hands-on lesson uses the 5 Es of science to teach the students that a rock can change from one type of rock to another. It has been classroom tested by me many, many times and student approved!
Students ENGAGE in a Starburst Experiment not knowing they are doing the rock cycle. (This leaves room for an "ah-ha" moment later.) They just follow the instructions in front of them and draw pictures as they go. First, they unwrap their Starbursts and cut them into pieces. Then they press those pieces together with their hands and pretend like they are doing it under water. While they are pressing the pieces together, they say, "Compaction and compression" over and over. After their pieces have been thoroughly pressed together, they place them in a baggie and use the heat of their hands, and pressure, to morph the Starbursts into a new shape. Then their Starbursts go in the microwave where they melt, and then back out to cool. A classroom discussion follows, where the students EXPLORE what was done to their Starbursts. They eventually realize that their Starbursts just went through the rock cycle! Then you EXPLAIN the rock cycle even more by displaying my eye-catching rock cycle poster(s). (For example, it's not always just one continuous circle). Vocabulary posters are also provided so that you can successfully further explain each step of the rock cycle. After the rock cycle has been explained, this lesson challenges students to ELABORATE their understanding by having them fill out a worksheet. This worksheet has them draw their Starbursts again, but this time they label each step with its corresponding part of the rock cycle. To EVALUATE the students' understanding of the rock cycle, a blank rock cycle is provided, as well as an answer key. If you're looking for a way to evaluate their understanding that also incorporates NARRATIVE WRITING then you can use the "Rock Cycle Story" bonus materials that I have included.
Here is everything that you're getting with this product: (please click the preview so you can see the quality of my work):
-An 8-page, detailed lesson plan that explains the rock cycle to you, the teacher. It also explains exactly what to say and what to do.
-Detailed instructions that the students use while they do the Starburst experiment.
-A set of instructions with pictures that could be used for ELLs
-A worksheet that relates the Starburst Experiment to the Rock Cycle
-A blank rock cycle worksheet and answer key that can be used as an assessment
-A rock cycle practice page (students fold it in half, fill it out, and then unfold it to check their answers.)
-Vocabulary posters (geologist, sediments, weathering, erosion, compaction and cementation, igneous rock, sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock, lava, magma, and much more!)
-Two different rock cycle posters
This packet also comes with some bonus materials! Included are a bunch of narrative writing printables that you can use with the students. These printables guide the students as they write their own rock cycle story. When they are all done, they will have a story about a rock that begins as an igneous rock and then continuously changes as it goes through the rock cycle. At the end if their story, it has become a whole new new igneous rock. Instructions and a sample story are included.
I highly recommend teaching a lesson about the three main types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and how they are made BEFORE teaching this lesson. This lesson assumes that students already have a fairly good understanding of the three main types of rocks that they can refer to during this lesson. If you are unsure how you want to teach this topic, please consider purchasing my HUGE Rocks and Minerals Unit,
which not only includes everything in this lesson, but also provides three week's worth of material that can be used to teach or enhance your rocks and minerals unit.
If you are not interested in buying the entire unit and just want to buy individual lesson plans, please consider the following:
Hershey's vs. Snickers:
A lesson that introduces and explains the difference between a rock and a mineral in a fun and edible way.
Or perhaps you're interested in a Rocks and Minerals Test
that you can use to guide your unit. It also includes a study guide and a review game.
Again, if you are interested in buying all of these products and many other products like this at a discount price, then please check out my HUGE Rocks and Minerals Unit.
Thank you for your interest! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions to get more information on these products and how I've used them in my classroom!
© Lotts of Learning 2017