The Rock Cycle


The Rock Cycle is a fun lesson that teaches students about the three types of rock. The lesson provides lots of details about each type of rock and each step of the cycle. Students will also learn about weathering and erosion and how they affect the different rocks. Students will eventually be able to identify the rocks they see every day.

The “Options for Lesson” section provides a lot of additional suggestions. For instance, you could invite a geologist or rock collector to speak to your class. Or, you could take the students outside and walk around to find some rocks. Then they can guess which type of rocks they have found.

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What our The Rock Cycle lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: The Rock Cycle introduces students to the process in which rocks change into different types over time. There are three types of rock, and each type develops during some part of the cycle. Students may have learned what the three types of rocks are already. However, they may still not know how they are formed or how long it takes to transform. This lesson describes each rock and how it forms throughout the process.

There are five pages of content describing the cycle in full. The lesson describes each type of rock: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The lesson describes both how each type of rock is different and what they all have in common. As they learn, students will be able to examine the rocks they find and determine what type it is.

The lesson then describes the rock cycle in six detailed steps. It also defines and describes three types of weathering that commonly occurs during the rock cycle: physical, chemical, and biological. In addition, it mentions what erosion is and how it is an important factor in the cycle. Weathering and erosion can occur more often in some places than in others.


Each student will cut apart the terms and images on the activity worksheet. They will have to arrange them to illustrate the cycle. The lesson suggests they add text and color to explain certain areas further. You can divide the students into pairs or groups if you want for this activity.


The practice worksheet contains three different sections. First, students will mark the steps of the rock cycle in order. Second, they will match each statement—there are eight total—to the type of rock: sedimentary (S), igneous (I), or metamorphic (M). Last, they will fill in the blanks of a paragraph using the word bank.


The homework assignment splits into two sections. The first section lists 10 question, three of which are true or false. The second section lists 10 definitions. Students must match the definition to the correct term on the right.

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.