Rock Sort and Edible Rocks (SOL 5.7)

Rock Sort and Edible Rocks

Teacher Name: Gemma Griffin

Grade Level: 5

Subject: Science

Time Frame: 45 minutes

Concept: Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change

Topic: Rocks

Rationale: The identification of rocks is fundamental to the Earth Sciences and their study is the key to understanding the processes that have shaped the earth’s crustal evolution over the past 4500 million years and the physical world in which we live today. Given that young children are naturally curious about the world around them, studying rocks gives them a natural vehicle in which to explore and learn new things to satisfy their curiosity. Rocks easily provide a chance for young children to closely observe, record, describe, and compare the world around them, skills that such young children should be developing, according to the National Science Standards.

Goals: The student will practice and expand their observing and classifying skills through the exploration of rocks.

The student will gain a deeper understanding of the physical earth around them.

SOL: Science: 5.7 The student will investigate and understand how the Earth’s surface is constantly changing:

a) the rock cycle including the identification of rock types.




The student will be able to identify igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, evidenced by their ability to sort and classify the rocks using distinguishing physical characteristics to place the rocks into a Venn Diagram of string.


The student will be able to participate in creating an “edible” igneous rock; evidenced by class completed projected of edible rocks.


The student will be able to share their “pet rock” with the class, evidenced by participation on a rock scavenger hunt.


Everybody Needs a Rock


Rocks from rock hunt

A teacher set of rocks with identifying labels (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary)

Ingredients for “edible Igneous rocks”

1 can evaporated milk (6oz)

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped nuts

1 ¼ cups tiny marshmallows

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 x 8 inch pan, cooking spray

saucepan, spoon, hot plate


Advanced Organizer: (10 minutes)

Show class 3 rocks, numbered 1, 2 and 3. Ask students to identify secretly on a piece of paper with their name, which rock is an igneous rock. (The students who correctly guessed it will have their name drawn to be “cooks” in the next activity.

Procedures & Activities:

Make Edible Igneous Rocks:

Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan.

Have one student measure and pour in evaporated milk, one measure and pour in sugar, one measure and pour in salt into saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-9 minutes.

While waiting, read story Everybody Needs a Rock to get students ready for their rock hunt.

Remove saucepan from heat, and have one student add nuts, one add marshmallows, one add chocolate, and one add vanilla. Let one student stir gently.

Pour into prepared pan. Let cool. (Refrigerate). Makes 30 1 inch squares.

While “rocks” are cooling, take students on rock hunt.

Upon returning, have students share and practice sorting the rocks that they found, and rocks in the classroom into a large class Vinn Diagram made of string. Sort into categories of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary rocks.

Questions for Discussion:

Review how Igneous rocks are formed. (Lots of heat, melting, then cooling and hardening.)

Closure: Pass out “edible rocks” for students to eat. J


Class participation in sorting, making of edible rocks, and rock hunt.


This lesson was differentiated by learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) as well as by interest (nature rock hunt, cooking).


Lynchburg, VA 24503

Last modified Thursday November 24, 2011