Backyard Rocks

This Backyard Rocks lesson plan also includes:

You don't have to travel far to learn about rocks, just step outside, pick up a stone, and begin investigating. After taking a class walk around the school grounds collecting rocks, young scientists practice their skills of observation by writing brief descriptions and creating sketches of their samples. Students then learn about the three types of rocks - igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic - before working collaboratively in small groups to classify the rocks they collected. Use this lesson to kick of an elementary science unit on rocks and minerals, engaging young learners in exploring the world on which they live.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
  • Provides an extension activity that engages children in simulating the rock cycle
  • Suggests adaptations for meeting the needs of younger learners
  • Includes an idea for a service learning project relating to the rock cycle
  • Picture cards are included that describe the characteristics of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks
  • Supplemental instruction is required to explain how each type of rock is formed