Metamorphic Rocks


Metamorphic Rocks introduces students to a deeper discussion on this specific class of rock. Students will learn all about how this type of rock forms and which rocks fall into this category. They will also discover some traits of specific kinds of metamorphic rocks, including slate, gneiss, and marble.

There are many suggestions listed in the “Options for Lesson” section that you can incorporate into the lesson. One option is to have students go outside and look for rocks that might be metamorphic. They could also create poems or stories from the perspective of the rock itself.

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What our Metamorphic Rocks lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Metamorphic Rocks outlines some of the traits and types of rock that fall in this category. Students will discover these traits and be able to list them correctly. They will learn how to identify these rocks and explain how they formed in the rock cycle. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Options for Lesson

There are several suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section for additional activities or alternate ways to approach the lesson. One suggestion is for students to create poems or write stories about the formation of a metamorphic rock from the perspective of a piece of sediment. Another idea is to obtain different rocks and have students identify each one based on what they observe and what they learned. You could also plan a “Rock Week” during which you teach about all the types of rocks, including this lesson and the one on the rock cycle. One other option is to invite a geologist or rock collect to speak with the class and answer their questions.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page has a paragraph of extra information or guidance on what to expect from the lesson. It suggests teaching this lesson in conjunction with others about rocks or geology in general. You can use the blank lines to write ideas or thoughts you have as you prepare.


There are four pages of content in this lesson. The beginning of the lesson reminds students that there are three major categories of rocks that all rocks fall in. The properties and traits of a rock determine which group it belongs to. The lesson then describes how metamorphic rocks are ones that have changed due to extreme heat and pressure. The “morph” in metamorphic means to change.

Students will discover the two different types of changes that take place in rocks: regional and contact. Regional changes, also called dynamic, happen in big masses of rock, and this type is most common. The second type is contact, which is also called thermal. These changes happen from both extreme pressure and intense heat. Students will then learn about the two basic types of metamorphic rocks: foliated (layered) and non-foliated (not layered).


The Metamorphic Rocks lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each of these handouts will help reinforce students’ understanding of what they learned throughout the lesson. Use the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet to the students.


The activity worksheet requires students to create an acrostic. They will use the letters of the word “metamorphic” and write a word or sentence beginning for each letter. The words and sentences they choose have to relate to the lesson. Once they choose what they want for each letter, they will transfer it to the paper you provide them. They will also need to add color and images, either hand-drawn or from other sources.


For the practice worksheet, students will need to remember facts on the specific rocks they learned about. The word bank includes each of the six foliated and non-foliated rock types that the lesson described. There is a total of 20 statements on the worksheet. Students much match these statements to the rock they represent.


There are two parts to the homework assignment. For the first section, students must match definitions to the correct term in the word bank. For the second section, they will answer the 10 questions listed.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The final pages of this document are answer keys for the practice worksheet and homework assignment. All the answers are in red so that it is easy to compare them with the responses from your students. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.9

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.