Each week, I’ve been trying to share some of the packets I’ve made for the kids in the past couple of years. Here are some pages I made for our Rocks and Minerals Unit that you might find of use.
Rocks and Minerals Post:
We wrapped our chemistry unit and spent a few weeks on vertebrates and invertebrates. It was time to tackle a new unit on rocks and minerals. I’m using a science textbook as a spine for my preschooler; the next unit in her books was on rocks, minerals and natural resources. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted for ED, so I created a new unit on rocks and minerals myself. This time around I especially wanted to cover how rocks and minerals are used.
We’ve studied earth science before (see the pictures in the right side bar where we showed how mountains are formed and showed plate movement). I wanted to come at this unit from a different angle so we’d all learn something new.
This unit goes over some basic vocabulary, but since ED doesn’t read yet, I limited what she had to write to tracing. (I made a second set that has fill-in-the-blanks for the other two, starting on p. 14. They’ll quickly go through these sheets as well and will add them to their science notebooks.)
This packet covers how rocks have been used (for walls, buildings, roads, etc.) and some famous rock landmarks (Uluru, Arches, the Rock of Gibraltar, among others). It covers some basic facts about rocks and explores how we use minerals in our environment. It also goes into mining and recycling as these are two topics we haven’t covered in earth science. Finally, the packet covers the months and birthstones. I also made some Montessori-type cards for ED. I’ll share those in a few days.
This is 26 pages. Pages 1-13 are for younger kids (preK or K); pages 14-26 are better suited to older kids.
- Explore Rocks and Minerals!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiments We used this book a lot for this unit.
- Geology Rocks!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth We used this book so much from the library that we wound up purchasing our own copy.
- National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks and Minerals: Dazzling gems of photos and info that will rock your world
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks)
- DK Eyewitness Books: Rocks & Minerals
Update: This series by Ellen Lawrence is available at our local library now and are definitely worth a mention (these are affiliate links):
- What Are Rocks Made Of? (Science Slam!: Rock-Ology)
- How Do Volcanoes Make Rock?: A Look at Igneous Rock (Rock-Ology)
- Baking and Crushing: A Look at Metamorphic Rock (Rock-Ology)
- How Do Water and Wind Change Rock?: A Look at Sedimentary Rock (Rock-Ology)
Then we filled out the first few pages of the packet. Below the kids are filling out the page on what rocks are used for (roads, walls, statues, buildings, etc.):
Meanwhile, DD and LD are also reading through the new Geology student textbook from Real Science 4 Kids. (affiliate link). It was just published in December.
We read the first chapter about what geologists do and then we spent time outside doing our own geological exploration! (Any excuse to spend time outdoors, right?!)
The kids came in with a bagful of rocks. They dried them off and spent quite a bit of time just observing their samples. We’ll use their rocks in another few days after we talk in more depth about the different types of rocks. Above DD was showing me how the rock she collected flaked into small bits.
We continued on with a discussion of the three types of rocks and some (yummy) activities, but I’ll save those activities and that download for another day.
Rocks and the Rock Cycle: We studied rocks and the rock cycle again with my youngest (and reviewing with my older two!). We have some new (free) Rock Cycle worksheets which include some of the new hands-on activities we did this time around:
You may also be interested in the free 3-part Montessori cards I made of Famous Rocks Around the World. I shared those in another post:
For this unit, we used two books in particular for our hands-on activities:
We really loved Explore Rocks and Minerals!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiments (affiliate link)
Geology Rocks!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth (affiliate link) was really great for the age of my kids. It had a lot of really fun ideas. We got it first from the library, but then I wound up purchasing it to have on hand!
We got a number of other books as guidebooks, but the one I highly recommend is Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals (affiliate link) because of all the beautiful photos.
And one last recommendation if you have younger kids (preschool age), my kids really liked Let’s Go Rock Collecting (Let’S-Read-And-Find-Out Science. Stage 2) (affiliate link)
Here are a few other books we used (when ED was in 3rd grade) (affiliate links):
- What are Rocks Made Of
- Baking and Crushing: A Look at Metamorphic Rocks
- How Do Water and Wind Change Rocks: A Look at Sedimentary Rocks
- How Do Volcanoes Make Rocks: A Look at Igneous Rocks
- What is the Rock Cycle?
Baking and Crushing is recommended for grades 1-3. That goes right along with our “baked metamorphic rock activities here with crayons and here with cake and core sampling!
We also got a rock kit with different samples of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. We got the small version (with 15 rocks): American Educational Introductory Rock Collection (affiliate link).
The large kit with 75 rocks and minerals looked really great: Introductory Earth Science Classroom Rocks and Minerals Collection (affiliate link). For a rocks and minerals unit for older kids, I would probably got with this because it has at least 25 minerals, 6 or 7 ores, and samples of the sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.
There is also a set of posters about Rocks and Minerals (affiliate link) that would work well for a classroom unit on rocks and minerals. (16 inches x 22 inches) These have really good reviews.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
I shared some of our hands-on activities in these related posts:
- Three Types of Rocks: Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rock Packet - the kids loved these activities because they involved chocolate!!
- Igneous Rock Activities
- Sedimentary Rock Activities
- Sedimentary Rock Activity (much older post, using sand)
- Metamorphic Rock Activities
- Metamorphic Rock Activity (another older post, where we took “core samples,” excavated and examined this baked rock — a cupcake!)
- Minerals: Our Hands-On Activities and Seeing the BIGGEST Diamond in the World
- Earth-Space Science: Topographic Maps
If you are interested in catching up on some of our other activities, you might want to check out the Homeschool Den Facebook Page. I post a quick synopsis of each post so it’s an easy way to browse through things you may have missed. I share a lot of the materials I make for the kids — everything from science and history sheets and packets to some generic grammar worksheets. They’re all free.
If you found any of this useful, I’d love to hear from you over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Our 50+ Page Earth Science Packet:
When you click on the Buy Now button below, it will take you to Paypal. Upon receipt of payment you will immediately get a link to download this pdf in your browser. You will also receive an email from SendOwl Downloads which will give you a link to download. Remember, you do not have to have a Paypal account to make a payment. Just click on the line that says, “Pay with a debit or credit card or PayPal credit.” That gives you the option of paying with a credit card even if you don’t have an actual Paypal account.
If you have any trouble with your order, please contact me (Liesl) via our contact page, by replying to the email you receive from Sendowl, or by leaving a message over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
- Learning about the Solar System – Including the hands-on kit the kids loved assembling and painting.
- Earth Science: Timeline of Earth Activity – A Montessori activity that is meant to impress kids with the enormity of time on Earth.
- Earth Science: Layers of the Earth hands-on Activity
- Earth’s Geologic Timeline - How scientists divide Earth’s history into eons and eras
- Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activities
- Earth Science: Layers of the Atmosphere
- Free Earth Science Packet: Layers of the Atmosphere
- Hands-On Volcano Activities
- How to Make a Shake Table – Earthquake Studies
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl
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Biology Unit: Biomes, Food Web, Biological Interactions: This year we are talking about the Biosphere in quite some depth. We will be covering habitats, ecosystems, biomes, the climate zones, food chains, food webs, energy pyramid and more! Then after that we are doing a big Ocean Unit (tides, currents, ocean zones, ocean habitats and more).
You might also be interested in some of our other packets:
- A Study of Cells Worksheet Packet: Cell Theory, Eurkaryotic vs. Prokaryotic Cells, Cell Organelles, Animal vs. Plant Cells and More
After our Biology/Biosphere Unit, we went on to study the hydrosphere — ie. the ocean. Find out more about our ocean unit here:
You might also be interested in these general science posts: