Types of rocks

Types of rocks

I can identify and describe the three main rock types.

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Types of rocks

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In this lesson, students learn about the three main rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. They will learn how these rocks are formed and learn about their origins. Students are provided examples of each type of rock, like granite and marble.



Learning Objective

Students will be able to classify and describe the three basic rock types.


Introduce your students to this study of rocks by showing a beach scene and asking the question, “Where does sand come from?” Next, watch a video of sand under a microscope. Continue with an introduction and discussion to answer the questions, “What are rocks? and “What is Geology?”


Introduce the three main types of rocks. Students learn about Igneous Rocks, learn how sedimentary rocks are formed, and see an example of how dirt settles in a glass jar. Explain that igneous rocks are formed from the cooling of magma and describe this process. Students then label a diagram of a volcano to demonstrate this. They will then have an opportunity to identify the layers of sediment in a jar. Next, metamorphic rocks are introduced. Share some examples and show the corresponding “Parent” rocks.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions.


The lesson ends with a final activity of Spin the wheel to name the parent rock of the metamorphic rock!

Teaching tips

For an enrichment activity to go along with the discussion of sediment on slides 11-12, have the class watch and/or participate in filling an empty mason jar with a scoop of dirt and water. Leave it in an undisturbed place in the classroom. The next day, have students observe how the dirt has settled in the jar. Compare and contrast this to slide 12.

Instruction materials

-Clear jar ¾ full of water
-Scoop of dirt/soil

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