Rocks and minerals may not seem like the most exciting topic for students to learn about. However, you’d be surprised at how engaging this content can be. Perfect for cross-curricular integration, note-taking activities, and exploration, you can make learning about rocks exciting! Today, I am going to talk about 5 rocks and minerals activities that kids will love!
Provide Them With Books to Explore Casually
To start, I would gather several nonfiction texts with high-quality images and text features. These can be used as reference texts, for skill-specific lessons, or for casual browsing and reading. Texts like the ones above will allow students to practice using text features and learn about rocks and minerals that you may not have in your collection. Informational texts like these can be highly engaging for students. Be sure to make them available to use during independent or buddy reading time, too!
Each of the links below are Amazon affiliate links:
- Rocks and Minerals- Science Readers
- My Book of Rocks and Minerals
- National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks and Minerals
- Rocks and Minerals: National Geographic Readers
Get Interactive with Whole Group Charts
Initially, your instruction will exploratory. Find out what students think they know about rocks and minerals! Then, dive into informational texts, videos, and activities. When using anchor charts, I always recommend keeping them interactive! Have students record responses on sticky notes so that students can interact with the content and stay involved in the learning. (Plus, you can laminate and save your charts to use year after year!)
Let Them Be Rock Researchers
Next, it’s time to investigate! Have students observe different rocks and minerals. They can take scientific notes, recording features like color, texture, hardness, shine, etc! This is a great activity for partners or groups. You can set it up as stations with a specific amount of time for each rock/mineral. Then, rotate stations, allowing students to carefully explore each rock/mineral.
If you don’t have access to rocks and minerals for your students to investigate, you can search YouTube for videos that go over the features of specific types of rocks and minerals.
The rock collection and magnifying glass sets can both be found on Amazon. Here are my affiliate links to both materials.
Practice Note-taking with a Video
Notetaking is an important skill for students to learn. It needs explicit teaching and application, though. Rocks and minerals is a great topic for this. You can introduce this skill by showing a video or reading an article about the topic. Pause the video/stop in the article at important points and model appropriate note-taking. Students will need to learn how to quickly record important points and big ideas. So, be sure to repeat the modeling and practice until they have it down.
Incorporate Rocks and Minerals Into Your Reading Block
Lastly, this is an excellent topic for cross-curricular activities. Easily incorporate reading and writing activities that cover rocks and minerals. This will allow you more time during your science block to do hands-on activities, while your students learn more about rocks and minerals during your ELA block.
Suggested Resource that Your Students Will Love
This supplemental resource is a perfect addition to your Rocks and Minerals instruction. The simple, no-prep pack will cover a variety of topics about rocks, such as types of rocks, what minerals and rocks are, properties of minerals, the rock cycle, geologists, and more. You will find comprehension passages, graphic organizers, writing pages, cut and glue activities, and even a few fold-and-go mini books!