Lesson Plan

Roca, Roca, Roca

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
1.5 hours
Group Size:
Up to 36 (6-12 breakout groups)
National/State Standards:
GLE 3.1 Earth’s Materials can be broken down and/ or combined into different materials such as rocks, minerals, rock cycle, formations of soil, and sand‐ some of which are usable resources for human activity
geology, Rock Cycle, rock types, metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary


In this bilingual (spanish & english) hands-on lesson plan students will learn about the three types of rocks and "make" each type.


-Students will be able to identify and list characteristics of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks

-Students will be able to describe how each rock is formed


Brief overview of the three types of rocks:
-Metamorphic Rocks - form when a sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic rock is exposed to heat and pressure (under the surface of the Earth) - think metamorphosis, 
these rocks were changed 

-Igneous Rocks - form from magma or lava (melted rocks) that cools on the surface of the Earth (extrusive igneous) or underground (intrusive igneous) - think ignite, these rocks were on fire/melted

-Sedimentary Rocks - form from layers of sediment that are compacted and cemented (with minerals such as calcium carbonate and quartz) - sediment makes sedimentary

Some common examples of each type of rock:
Metamorphic - schist, slate, gneiss (pronounced nice)Igneous - granite, diorite, gabbro (intrusive), basalt, pumice, rhyolite (extrusive)
Sedimentary - sandstone, shale, mudstone, conglomerate

Learning Target
I can identify the three types of rocks and describe how they are formed.
Puedo identificar los tres tipos de rocas y describir cómo se forman.

Inquiry Questions
What are Rocks? ¿Qué son rocas?
How are rocks formed? ¿Cómo se forman las rocas?


6 rock samples‐ 2 of each type of rock
6 pieces of construction paper
6 markers
24 of the small Play Doh tubs a variety of colors
1 letter size piece of foil or wax paper (per student)


Park Connections

All three types of rocks are present in Colorado National Monument. Use the stratigraphic column provided to show students where the rocks are located.

What is the most common type of rock in the Monument? ¿Cuál es el tipo de roca más común en el Monumento?

Additional Resources




Igneous ‐ ignea
sedimentary ‐ sedimentario
metamorphic‐ metamórfico
rock‐ roca

Last updated: February 24, 2015