Rocks Unit

Ready to rock? (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.) This week’s lessons are rich with science lessons and experiments that will have your child putting on their geologist hat. ⛏ Plus, they’ll explore letter recognition and phonetics, art, math, engineering, and geography while getting plenty of outdoors time. 🗿 Download this printable worksheet to track your books read, lessons learned, and progress along the way!

Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more) and modifications (which can be useful for including younger siblings). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) or minus (-) symbols.

What you need:

Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):

(+) Book upgrades:

Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):

What to do:

We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!

Lesson 1:

Start the week by reading Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth and Rough. This kid-friendly book teaches about the different types of rocks and how they are formed. (Have a strong reader/kid who really loves rocks? Upgrade to The Pebble in my Pocket for a more in-depth look.)

Activity 1: Baking Soda Volcano – A volcano occurs when hot melted rock from inside the earth escapes from an opening in the Earth’s surface. It causes a big explosion called an eruption, and what comes out is lava (a liquid rock!). Once it cools, we call it igneous rock. Demonstrate this process with this fun experiment that might remind you of your own science classes as a kid.

(Psst..we want to see your volcanoes! Post yours to Instagram with #learnandliveletter and tag @learnandliveletter, and we’ll repost our favorites!)

Activity 2: V is for Volcano worksheet – Use this printable worksheet to get in a little letter practice. Introduce the sound of the letter V and have your child practice drawing it. Then, let them color the volcano!
(+) Write the word volcano on a lined paper and have your child write the word underneath your sample. This is called copywork.

Lesson 2:

For lesson 2, start by reading Rocks Rocks Rocks. This book tells the story of a bear family going on a nature rock hunt. After you read, have your own rock hunt. Collect 20-30 rocks that you can use in later activities. Don’t forget to record the trip in your child’s nature journal if you’re keeping one. (Tip: River rocks, or flatter rocks, are ideal. Can’t get outside? We linked rocks you can order online in the supply list.)

Activity 1: Rock Numbering Project.
(+) Try skip counting with a child that is ready for an upgrade.
Activity 2: Have your child use the more misshapen rocks to create structures of their own using play dough as grout. (Here’s some inspiration.)
(-) Keep younger siblings occupied with this rock + play dough modification.

Lesson 3:

Today, your child will learn about how rocks are made and how to measure their hardness.

Activity 1: Grow a Crystal – Note: This experiment needs to set overnight to see full results. Here are some extra crystal details you can share while you wait.
Activity 2: Rocks + Minerals Scratch Test – Rock kits are a great way for your kids to see the differences and similarities between rocks. This kit we recommend comes with 15 different rocks for kids to experiment with, including testing for hardness. 
(+) Ready for a bit more? Use your kit to determine the hardness of the rocks with the MOHS scale of hardness test with this experiment.

Lesson 4:

Stone Soup is a classic children’s story and activity that gets your child (and you!) outside and using their imaginations. Start by watching this video of the story.

Activity 1: Stone Soup Outdoor Nature Lesson
Activity 2: Stone Sight Words – Sight words are a great option for kids who are showing interest in reading. Check out this site for suggestions of words to use.

Lesson 5:

Start today by reading A Chip Off the Old Block. This book shares how rocks can be carved into some amazing things. Easter Island has some of the world’s most famous rock formations that will likely bring a smile to your child’s face. (Psst! This is a great chance to collect a Chile stamp for your child’s Passport to the World. Click here to learn more about this fun supplementary homeschool idea. 🌎)

Activity 1: Easter Island’s Moai Statues – The famous statues on Easter Island were made from volcanic rock that erupted on the island. (Lesson 1 showed your child melted rock (lava) coming out of a volcano! 🌋) Once that lava softens, it becomes an igneous rock. That is what these rock formations are made of. This website will give you a few facts to share with your child along with some great photos of the Moai stone statues.
Activity 2: Make Your Own Moai Look-alike

Activity 3: Celebrate the end of the week with a little Queen. Let’s stomp our feet and clap our hands to We Will Rock You.

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