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Here the rock cycle is demonstrated with chewing gum and Pop Rocks




3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  

Title – The Rock Cycle
By – Shelley Carter
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 3-8

Subject Area: Rocks and Minerals

I. Standards:

    Strand I, Standard 1.1

      Construct New Scientific and Personal Knowledge

    Strand II

      Reflect on the Nature, Adequacy, and Connections Across Scientific Knowledge

    Strand IV

      Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts

    Strand V

      Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

II. Objective/Benchmark:

    The learner will demonstrate a “Rock Cycle” by applying heat and pressure to gum and then by putting gum and “Pop Rocks” in their mouth.

III. Anticipatory Set:

      Take out a piece of bubble gum, hold it up and say

“This represents a Sedimentary Rock .”

      Put it in your mouth and begin chewing it. Ask the students,

“What am I doing?”

      Of course they will say chewing gum. Ask them to think scientifically and ask them,

“What am I doing to the gum.”

      (Leading questions:

Is it cold inside my mouth, NO, so I am applying heat, YES! What is happening when my teeth come down on the gum? I am applying pressure. So is the gum being changed? Yes!

      ) Pull the gum out of your mouth and place it on a clean dish.
      Now open up a packet of “Pop Rocks” and pour some onto the gum. Then kind of squeeze or fold them into the gum. Hold up the gum and say this represents an

Igneous Rock

      . Now, place the gum (igneous rock) in your mouth and chew. Ask the students:

What am I doing?

      Hopeful they will answer, applying heat and pressure. Here pressure is more intense to crush the “Pop Rocks” (


      ). Chew until all the “Pop Rocks” are mixed in as part of the gum. Pull out the gum and say this represents a

Metamorphic Rock

      . Tell students I have just shown you the “

Rock Cycle

      “. Ask students if they would like to try it.

IV. Input:

      A. Task Analysis:

        Hand out one piece of bubble gum and one package of “Pop Rocks” for each student. Let students create their own “Rock Cycle”. Now hand out a form that has the diagram of the rock cycle. Read over the cycle with students. Have a real example of each rock category for students to observe. At rock stations children will observe all three categories of rocks.

      B. Thinking Levels:

        Affective Domain: Students will enjoy creating the rock cycle in a new way. Students will have the opportunity to better understand the rock cycle.

        Analysis: What is a rock cycle?

        Synthesis: How will you create a rock cycle?

        Evaluation: Is your rock cycle a good representation of a natural rock cycle?
        Learning Styles:

          Bodily-Kinesthetic: Expertise in using one’s body to express ideas.

          Spatial: The capacity to perceive the visual world accurately, to transform and recreate visual perceptions.

          Naturalist: The ability to recognize important distinctions in the natural world.

    C. Methods and Materials:

      Rock Cycle Diagram, Bubble Gum and “Pop Rocks” (one for each student).

V. Modeling:

      Teacher will demonstrate the process of the rock cycle, using

      bubble gum and “Pop Rocks”. Teacher will read through the rock cycle with


VI. Checking for Understanding:

      During modeling teacher will ask for input from the students.

What am I doing? What am I doing to the gum? Is it cold inside my mouth? Am I applying heat? Am I applying pressure? Is the gum being changed? Did it take more pressure to form the metamorphic rock than it did the igneous rock? VII. Guided Practice:

    Students will create their own rock cycle with gum and “Pop Rocks”. Teacher will circulate the room asking individual students the same questions used during checking for understanding. Teacher will guide students toward the questions they need to be answering.

VIII. Independent Practice:

    Students will observe all three categories of rocks at rock stations.

IX. Closure:

    Students will write about their experience of creating the rock cycle. Choose three students to share their thoughts.

X. Assessment/Reflection:

    No assessment will be taken on this lesson. I will reflect on my own and with the students what was liked about the lesson and what was not liked. I will have the students give me stars and wishes on the lesson.


    Have cue cards written out on 3×5 cards to hold up in anticipated response to student questions. This helps so you don’t have to talk while chewing gum!

E-Mail Shelley Carter !

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