Rocks are SO awesome and Ms Carleen gets SO excited talking about ROCKS!
But… did you know that ALL rocks are one of three kinds? It’s true!
Rocks are all either sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic.
You can experiment with the three different types of rocks and understand more about how each type is formed!
- A pile of different colored sponges or really anything that is soft and squishy that can be piled up and squished down. Pillows, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.
- Pile up your sponges, or soft items.
- Push down on the top of them from above to allow them to squish down.
- Observe them from all angles, can you still see the individual colors or objects? Or at least part of them?
Sedimentary rock is formed when sediment (dirt, sand, rocks, debris, dead things) all pile up on top of each other and get squeezed together. It makes layers of colors and materials that oftentimes are still visible after they have bonded together.
Igneous Rock / Magmatic Rock
- Toothpaste tube or any other squeezable tube or bottle
- Squeeze the tube from the bottom and see the contents of the bottle “erupt” from the tube.
Igneous rocks are made by volcanic eruptions. The superheated magma beneath Earth’s surface builds up pressure and erupts through Earth’s crust as a volcanic eruption. When this happens, the lava starts to cool as it flows down the side of the volcano. As the lava cools, it hardens and becomes new igneous rocks!
- Various types of cookies, crackers, cereal, chips, anything that’s smashable. – preferably each with distinct colors, sizes and shapes
- Clear cup
- Unsharpened pencil
- Add ONE of the smashable objects you are using into your cup.
- Observe it from the top and the sides. Does it still look like the object? Of course it does!
- Now start to smash it up using the flat side of your pencil.
- Can you still tell what it was? Maybe, maybe not, but it still has the same color that it did before, right?
- Now, choose one of your other smashable items and add it to your cup. Does it still look like the item?
- Now start smashing!
- What about now? Can you tell the difference between the first item and the second one? A little? Ok, let’s add a third item!
- Observe first, then start smashing!
- Do this for several different items.
- Now look in your cup. Can you tell one item from the next? You might be able to see a specific color, but mostly I’m sure it just looks like a mix of colors and doesn’t look anything like the items you started with!
- You can do it again and this time, use different smashable items, or different amounts of your items to make a “metamorphic rock” of a different color or texture!
Metamorphic rocks are made by other rocks and minerals changing into something different through extreme heat and pressure! We didn’t use heat for this experiment, but what do you think would happen to our “rock” if we did? It might look even more different! Metamorphic rock is so named because it changes the properties of the rocks and minerals that come together to form it into something completely different!
Be a ROCK STAR! Start a rock collection!
Now that you know about the three types of rocks, go on a nature hunt and look for rocks near your house! Download and use the free printable to gather your rocks and then using a book, app, or website try to identify the type of rocks you have found!