Weathering Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Erosion & Weathering Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is Weathering?
  • 0:25 Types of Weathering
  • 2:16 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dacia Upkins

Dacia has taught all core elementary subjects for 14 years with a Master's degree in Urban Teacher Leadership.

In this lesson, you will discover how big rocks turn into small rocks through a process called weathering. You will be able to define weathering and name the different types.

What Is Weathering?

Did you know that the Grand Canyon used to be just one big piece of layered rock? Over millions of years, water from the Colorado River has been breaking off pieces from that rock and carrying them away. As this continues, the canyon gets deeper and wider. The process of wearing away or breaking down larger pieces of rock into smaller pieces is called weathering.

Types of Weathering

There are several types of weathering that can cause rocks to break down. They include mechanical weathering, chemical weathering, and organic weathering. Let's take a closer look.

1. Mechanical Weathering

If you've ever frozen a bottle of water, you probably noticed that the bottle expanded after the water froze. A similar thing happens in nature when water gets between the little cracks in big rocks and cold temperatures cause it to freeze. When this happens over and over again, those cracks get larger and larger until they eventually cause pieces of the rock to break off. This is an example of mechanical weathering, which is the type of weathering that physically breaks down rock.

2. Chemical Weathering

Keeping a bike outside all the time can cause a very annoying problem. If it rains on the bike a lot, it will rust. This happens when the oxygen in the rain water mixes with the metal called iron in the bike and creates a new reddish-brown substance that makes the bike look old.

Rain can also cause many types of rocks that contain iron to rust and get soft. Over time, these soft rocks can easily break into pieces. This process, called oxidation, is a type of chemical weathering. Chemical weathering involves breaking down rocks though some sort of chemical reaction.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account