Rock Cycle Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teaching students about rocks? This lesson plan uses an engaging video to teach students about the three main types of rock and shows how matter is cycled through the Earth. Students then get down and dirty in a hands-on activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define terms related to the rock cycle
  • explain the characteristic of and categorize three main types of rock
  • discuss how rock cycles through the earth


  • 1 - 1.5 hours


  • Varying rock samples for students to categorize; if not available, then images of rocks to categorize

Lab Preparation

  • Before class, set up rock samples along a table. Number each sample.
  • Create a recording sheet for students to use as they participate in the lab. Or create the recording sheet on the board and have students copy into their science notebooks.

Key Vocabulary

  • Rock cycle
  • Igneous rock
  • Extrusive rock
  • Intrusive rock
  • Granite
  • Sediments
  • Sedimentary rock
  • Metamorphic rock

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.9

Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

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