Observing and Describing Rocks
The student is expected to observe and describe rocks by size, texture, and color.
The student knows that the natural world includes earth materials.
Rocks and Minerals: US Geological Survey (website) - Introductory information about rocks and minerals, with a glossary of commonly used geological terms.
Rocks: ScienceViews.com (website) - Texture, in geology, is used to describe how the rock looks. The most noticeable textural feature of many rocks is grain size, which refers to the size of the individual mineral crystals. The minerals that are present also determine color.
Resources for Teachers and Students of Geoscience in Texas: Bureau of Economic Geology (website) - Numerous resources related to geology and Earth science, including links to publications, a virtual rock kit, Earthview Texas, and more.
All Sorts of Rocks: Utah Education Network (website) - Students learn about the concepts of mineral color, hardness, texture, layering and particle size while observing, describing and sorting rocks.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Rock Hunters: Science NetLinks (website) - Students observe rocks of various types, colors and sizes, and record their observations through drawings. Includes interactive information on common rocks.
Rock Critters: The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (PDF) - Students observe and compare different rocks while designing and building their own “pet rocks.”
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Mystery Rocks: Utah Education Network (website) - This lesson will get students thinking about the many uses of rocks in their everyday world as they observe and describe five different kinds of rock.
Rock Hunters: Science NetLinks (website) - See assessment portion of this activity.
The Big Rock. Hiscock, Bruce (ISBN: 0-689-82958-2)
If You Find A Rock. Christian, Peggy (ISBN: 0-152-39339-0)
It Could Still Be A Rock. Fowler, Allan (ISBN: 0-516-06010-4)
Let's Go Rock Collecting. Gans, Roma (ISBN: 0-064-45170-4)
Let's Look at Rocks. Cipriano, Jeri (ISBN: 0-7368-2938-5)
Rock. Firestone, Mary (ISBN: 0-736-82651-3)
Rocks and Minerals. Squire, Ann and Jenner, Jan (ISBN: 0-516-22505-7)
Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough. Rosinsky, Natalie (ISBN: 1-404-80015-8)
Everybody Needs a Rock. Baylor, Byrd (ISBN: 0-689-71051-8)
Rocks in His Head. Hurst, Carol, Otis (ISBN: 0-060-29403-5)
Rocks: Oregon State (website) - Information about different types of rocks and how they form.
Collecting Rocks: US Geological Survey (website) - Learn about different varieties of rock and how to identify and collect them.
Rock and Mineral Activities for Kids: How Stuff Works (website) - This site offers a variety of creative projects involving rock and minerals, including gold panning and sandstone carving.