Rocks on the Move Curriculum Guide

This is an annotated guide for the Rocks on the Move program curriculum. It is designed to help you select the elements of our program that will best serve your students. Several of the lessons in this guide utilize materials included in the Rocks on the Move Traveling Trunks, available to Bay Area teachers participating in programs in the Golden Gate National Parks. In order to make our curriculum accessible to teachers beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, we have included links to digital files of the Traveling Trunk lessons. Some of these lessons do not require the rock samples and posters of the Traveling Trunks.

1. Rocks on the Move Introduction

2. Rocks on the Move Program Materials

  • Visit the Teachers' Resource Page to help your students prepare for their experience at Point Bonita and to link to digital curriculum files.

3. Building Global Knowledge

  • Tectonic Vacation project: Students explore geologically significant sites around the globe and keep a journal of their travels.
  • Beach Ball Earth: Use a tectonic beach ball to guide a questioning activity that introduces vocabulary and assesses student knowledge of plate tectonics.
  • Magic Windows: Students use transparencies of the Golden Gate to compare different time periods simultaneously and to learn how to recognize and evaluate geologic changes in their environments. Use the templates for "Window A" and "Window B" to make your own transparencies.
  • Global Geo-Justice: (coming soon) This investigation provides students with the opportunity to link geology to issues of environmental justice on a global scale, and increases student awareness of how geology impacts world community health and well-being.

4. Building Local Knowledge

  • Edible Geology: In this activity students compare the properties of candies to those of the Franciscan rocks. This allows students to build on prior knowledge while developing a scientific approach to examining and investigating local rocks.
  • Questioning the Franciscan Rocks, Part 1 and Part 2: Students investigate the "life histories" of several Franciscan Complex rocks. Through this process they become familiar with the descriptive language and terminology used by geologists for rock identification.
  • Community Geo-Justice: (coming soon) This investigation provides students with the opportunity to link geology to issues of environmental justice in their own community, and increases student awareness of how geology impacts community health and well-being.
  • Subduction Construction: Play this game to examine and study Franciscan Complex rocks of the Golden Gate Headands and place them in the context of the Cretaceous Period subduction zone.

5. Reviewing Global Content

  • Tectonic Travel Jeopardy: A fun and engaging way to review the stories depicted in the Tectonic Travel Decals (Tectonic Vacation Project), in a familiar game format.
  • Tectonic Crossword Puzzle: A good reinforcement of the tectonic stories portrayed in the Tectonic Travel Decals.

6. Reviewing Local Content

  • Franciscan Complex Crossword Puzzle: Allows students to review the rocks and vocabulary associated with the rocks of the Franciscan Complex.
  • Rock Talk Crossword Puzzle: Familiarizes students with the descriptive language geologists use when observing rocks. To be used after the class has completed Edible Geology.
A Western Fence lizard sunning itself on a chert outcropping with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
A western fence lizard suns itself on an outcropping of radiolarian chert.

NPS Suzanne Garcia


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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