Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Demonstrating The Rock Cycle

Sugar Cube Rock Cycle

Each student begins with a sugar cube, which reprsents the original sedimentary rock. Compare the sugar cube to the same amount of regular sugar. 
Crush the rock/sugar cube with a hammer to represent weathering.
Put the crushed rock into a pan, to represent erosion
and heat on the stove until it melts to represent the heating that metamorphic rock goes through.
Set the melted sugar aside for several minutes to cool just as igneous rock forms.
Break the new, igneous rock into pieces. This represents weathering of igneous rocks.

Fudge Rock Cycle

Ocean and Uplift, the force from within the earth that push rock up to form mountains, add the following sediment to the bowl one layer at a time: organic sediments (1 Tab. margarine), quartz crystals (1 cup sugar) and silt (1/3 cup evaporated milk). This will take some time. The sediments are laid down on the ocean floor to form sedimentary rock.
Weathering, the breaking down of rocks by wind and water, break the sandstone pieces (1/2 cup nuts) into smaller pieces.

Plate Tectonics, the movement of the crust's plates, mix the sediments in the bowl with a spoon. When the crust's plates are part of a convergence or the movement of two tectonic plates coming closer, pieces of the plate get mixed up. Place the bowl in the microwave to heat (45 seconds) and then add pressure by stirring it. Repeat twice. It will change the sedimentary rock to metamorphic rock..
Weathering, the breaking down of rocks by wind and water and Ocean put together in a bowl 
basalt (1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips), sandstone (the nuts), limestone (1 cup mini marshmallows)
 and crude oil (1 tea. vanilla). Stir the sediments as they undergo the change. 
The limestone and basalt will melt back into magma to form igneous rock. This takes time.
Plate Tectonics, the movement of the crust's plates, will hold the bowl as uplift, the force from within the earth that push rock up to form mountains, scrapes the magma onto the earth surface (wax paper) with a  spoon. Place another sheet of wax paper over the cooling igneous rock and press down a little. It will take time to cool.

Crayon Rock Cycle

You will need  some crayons in at least two different colors. Unwrap the crayons and use the sharpener to create shavings.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from sediments (tiny rock particles that were created by weathering or erosion) that were layered and then compressed, and often have distinguishable layers. They also may have fossils of organisms or other visible rock particles in them. To replicate this with the crayon shavings, take a small square of aluminum foil and have your child sprinkle the  different colors of shavings into the middle of the square, one at a time so they will form the layers. Fold the aluminum foil up tightly around the shavings and then compress it. To do this, they can press on it with their hands, step on it,  use a hammer or add compression in any other way you can think of. Unfold the foil and remove the sedimentary rock carefully as this is the most brittle of the rocks that you are making.
Metamorphic rocks are formed when existing rocks are exposed to heat and/or pressure and often have distinct bands or blocks of crystals in them. To mimic this, use a foil baking cup or just take another square of aluminum foil and fold up the sides to make a boat.  Pile the different colors of shavings in the center. Pour boiling water into a metal bowl or mug and float the boat in the hot water for 15 to 20 seconds, just until the shavings have started to melt.

Quickly remove the boat and fold the foil in half so that the shavings are compressed a bit. Let it cool and solidify and then open the foil and remove the metamorphic rock.

Igneous rocks are formed when magma cools. To make an igneous crayon rock, repeat the steps for making the metamorphic rock, except leave the the aluminum foil floating on the hot water for a minute or more until all the crayon sediments have melted. Then take the boat out and use a popsicle stick to represent the movement the magma goes through to go to the surface by stirring the shavings until they are all mixed together.

 Let the crayon cool and solidify, and then pop it out. 


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  1. This is so clever and very creative! I'll have to borrow this idea when we do the rock cycle. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a great way to learn about rock cycle!

  3. I love all of your rock cycles!

  4. I really, really like these ideas!! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Goody, goody, goody! I am pinning this post for when we study rocks- AWESOME JOB, Mama!

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  7. love love loveee this. i needed an end of the year project to do that would be fun, easy, and scientific and this was it ! thank you sooo much !!


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