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Rock Cycle Activity

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size



Utah LessonPlans


Students will follow a rock as it travels through the rock cycle. They will model the movement of earth materials by rolling a die to see where they will go next.


  • 1 set of Rock Cycle Dice (11) (attached) printed on cardstock, cut and assembled for the class
  • Placards or signs (attached) for each die station (marked with the name of the die and clearly visible from around the room)
  • Samples of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks to place at the appropriate stations with hand lenses
  • One handout per participant of the Rock Cycle Diagram (attached)
  • student worksheet(attached)

Student Prior Knowledge

Students should be familiar with characteristics and formation of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Place the dice, placards and samples around the room in a widely spaced circle. The placards should all be visible to someone standing inside the circle. The order of the dice and placards is irrelevant.
  2. Instruct the participants that they will be starting at the station of their choice. They should do their best to spread out around the room. If a station is too crowded at the beginning, they should choose to begin at a different station.
  3. Roll the die at the station and move to the station indicated by the die. READ THE DIE CAREFULLY, some of the stations are similarly named.
  4. Each time you visit a station, make a tally mark in the box for that station. Each mark represents approximately 200,000 years in the life of a rock.
  5. As you travel from one station to another, draw an arrow from the station you left to the station you are going to. These arrows represent the transformations that can occur to rock during the rock cycle.
  6. If you stay put, make a tally mark and draw an arrow that loops back on itself.
  7. After an appropriate amount of time, enough time for most of the participants to have visited each of the stations, stop the activity and discuss the results.

Assessment Plan

Scoring Guide:
1. Student participates and records data………………………4
2. Student correctly answers analysis questions…………….4 (#1 and #2, students probably will get "stuck" in a place because rocks go through stages at different rates and chance occurrences will determine outcome as well. #3 answers will vary #4 this model is more dynamic and accurate than the static flow charts found in books #5 heat from Earths interior drives the rock cycle
3. Students writes thoughtful and thorough conclusion……..4


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 10/15/2014
Updated: 02/03/2018