Geology Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

You've probably held a rock in your hand, but did you ever think about how that rock came to be and how it may have changed over time? Rocks contain many clues that tell scientists who study geology about planet Earth. Learn about geology in this fun lesson!

What is Geology?

Did you know that the beautiful islands of Hawaii started out as volcanoes? Millions of years ago, underwater volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean started to erupt. The lava that came out of the volcanoes cooled and formed new rocks. After years of eruptions, the rocks piled up and reached above the ocean water to form the islands. People who study geology can learn a lot about the history of the Hawaiian Islands by studying these volcanic rocks.

Geology is the study of rocks and other nonliving things that make up the planet Earth. It's an easy term to remember if you break the word down into its parts. The first part of the word, 'geo,' refers to the Earth, and the second part of the word, 'ology,' means to study. So geology is the study of Earth.

If you enjoy studying rocks, then you like geology.
geology

What Do Geologists Do?

A geologist is a scientist who studies geology. Geologists are a lot like detectives. They spend their days searching for clues about the history of the Earth and uncover secrets that show us how we can use things in the Earth to make our lives better.

A geologist studies rocks to learn about the planet Earth.
geologist

Geologists often spend time outside digging through the dirt and rocks. Let's pretend that you are a geologist with some important work to do. We will look at a couple of your assignments and learn some cool facts about geology along the way.

Assignment 1

Your first assignment is to travel to the desert and search for clues about the history of the area. As you dig through the sand, you come across a rock with strange marks on it. As you dust off the rock, you see that the markings are in the shape of a fish. You just found a fossil! But what is a fossil of a fish doing in the desert? The fossil you found is a clue that shows that many years ago, this dry desert was covered with water.

A geologist might find a fossil buried underground.
fish fossil

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