Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
Rock cycle, types of rocks
Learning Objectives
  • Understand the cycling of matter that forms rocks inside Earth and on Earth's surface.
  • Explain how crayons can be used to model the rock cycle.
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Starburst is a registered trademark of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.

Overview

Can one type of rock turn into another type of rock? In this lesson plan, your students will explore the rock cycle and model it using crayons. Can they turn a sedimentary "rock" made from crayon shavings into a metamorphic rock? What about an igneous rock? Try this lesson to find out!

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models. Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.
ESS2.A: Earth's Materials and Systems. All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet's systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth's hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth's materials and living organisms. (MS-ESS2-1)
Systems and System Models. Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes, and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

Scale Proportion and Quantity. Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

Materials


Materials needed for the lesson Model the Rock Cycle with Crayons

Each group will need:

  • Crayons (at least 2, each a different color)
  • Potato peeler, paring knife, or cheese grater
  • Aluminum foil (1 sheet)
  • Access to a frying pan and stove, or a hot plate
  • Tongs or oven mitts
  • Toothpicks (several)
  • Small bowls (one for each crayon color)
  • Ice water

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
Rock cycle, types of rocks
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Starburst is a registered trademark of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.
Learning Objectives
  • Understand the cycling of matter that forms rocks inside Earth and on Earth's surface.
  • Explain how crayons can be used to model the rock cycle.
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