Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
3
Total Time
2 hours 15 minutes
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
rock cycle, igneous rock, sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

Student teams test rocks to identify their physical properties such as luster, hardness, color, etc., and classify them as igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary. They complete a data table to record all of the rock properties, and then answer worksheet questions to deepen their understanding of rock properties.

Engineering Connection

Civil and geological engineers, for example, design tunnels through rock, build roads on the sides of mountains, and construct skyscrapers rooted in soil and rock. It is imperative for these engineers to thoroughly understand the natural characteristics and properties of all types of rocks to ensure health and safety standards are met. 

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
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Collect data to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence to answer scientific questions or test design solutions under a range of conditions.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
ESS2-A: Earth Materials and Systems. Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.
Stability and Change. Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and processes at different scales, including the atomic scale.

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
3
Total Time
2 hours 15 minutes
Area of Science
Geology
Key Concepts
rock cycle, igneous rock, sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
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