This activity is perfect for a review of the rock cycle, but when done in its entirety is a simulation of the rock cycle! Good for learning it for the first time (for 3rd graders) or reviewing concepts and vocabulary (4th grade, 5th grade). Students can also gain plenty of practice using science vocabulary.
Benchmarks (For Earth Science in the 3rd to 5th grand band):
A. Explain the characteristics, cycles, and patterns involving Earth and its place in the solar system.
B. Summarize the processes that shape Earth’s surface and describe evidence of those processes.
C. Describe Earth’s resources including rocks, soil, water, air, animals and plants and the ways in which they can be conserved.
D. Analyze weather and changes that occur over a period of time.
Related Grade-Level Indicators
3rd Earth Systems
1. Compare distinct properties of rocks (e.g. coloring, layering and texture).
3. Describe that smaller rocks come from the breakdown of larger rocks through the actions of plants and weather.
4. Observe and describe the composition of soil (e.g., small pieces of rock and decomposed pieces of plants and animals, products of plants and animals.
6. Investigate that soils are often found in layers and can be different from place to place.
4th Earth and Space Sciences: Processes that Shape the Earth
9. Describe evidence of changes on Earth’s surface in terms of slow processes (e.g., erosion, weathering, mountain building, and deposition) and rapid processes (e.g. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides).
• Crayons, crayon sharpener
• Wood (optional)
• Hot plate (alternately, a candle)
• Aluminum pie pan
• Heavy Duty aluminum foil
• Tongs / oven mitts
*** As always, I appreciate and look forward to your feedback! ***