Geology for Kids Rocks!

› Geology

Fun and easy lessons about geology lesson ideas that any elementary science classroom can use.  I can't believe I once thought rocks and minerals would be boring! 

This is one of my favorite areas of science.  There is just so much we can do to make geology a fascinating subject for our students.

It is very important that teachers make all science as hands-on as possible, and these are the activities you and your kids will love.  Be sure to call your students "geologists" as they truly are becoming scientists who study the earth!

Mt. St. Helens, July 22, 1980.  Photo Credit: Jim Vallance, US Geological Survey

What is Geology?

Geology is the study of the earth, how it was made and how it changes.  That includes rocks and minerals, soil, mountains, bodies of water, earthquakes and volcanoes.  It is part of the field of Earth Sciences.

Geologists also study what has happened in the past by looking at fossils and what happens in outer space by looking at meteorites (rocks from space).

All scientists ask questions during investigations (inquiry science).  Geologists will ask questions like," What type of rock is this?" and "How can we know when a volcano will explode?".  To answer these questions, earth scientists use observation, samples and a variety of tools such as:

  • rock hammers
  • chisels
  • compass
  • magnets
  • maps
  • seismograph
  • flashlights
  • acids
  • bases
  • streak plates
  • picks
  • GPS devices

Geologists work both outdoors and in laboratories.  Working outside can be both exciting and dangerous.  At times, earth scientists put their lives in great danger to learn about our world.  David Johnson was a famous geologist who died in May 1980 when Mount Saint Helens exploded. 

Geology Lesson Plans

Geologists use a variety of techniques that we can replicate (modified, of course) when we are teaching geology for kids.  Click on the links below to take you to specific activities and lots of rocks and minerals lesson plans!

  1. Rocks and Minerals for Kids
  2. The Difference Between Rocks and Minerals
  3. Types of Rocks, Minerals and Crystals
  4. The Rock Sorter
  5. My Pet Rocky
  6. Identifying Minerals
  7. The Rock Cycle
  8. Metamorphic Rock Pancakes
  9. Yummy Sediments
  10. Don't Rocks Last Forever?
  11. Erosion and Weathering with Edible Rocks
  12. Core Sampling Cupcakes
  13. What's in Soil?

Before teaching each science lesson, please double check that you have prepped everything before-hand.  I know that seems obvious, but many of these aren't lessons you can pull and teach on the same day. 

Also, here are some links to great sites I use to help teach geology lessons:

  • Earth Science World Image Bank - a fabulous database of images from around the world for every category of earth science
  • - absolutely the most comprehensive site I have found on everything about geology
  • USGS Education - Fact sheets, videos, animations and maps that are student friendly

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