Rocks may seem to be just a solid mass of material that we step on and overlook, but once students have knowledge of rock types and the rock cycle through from geology studies, they no longer ignore them. Kids love analyzing rocks!
In this post, I’ll be sharing materials and ideas aligned with the fifth grade geology standards under SOL 5.7. The main concepts include rock types, the rock cycle, Earth’s history and fossils, Earth’s Layers and plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, and how human’s can protect the environment.
Best Books for Geology Studies:
One of the best ways to reach all students in your room is by using text sets at various reading levels. Often, science textbooks aren’t geared to the reading levels of the students you are teaching, so it may be necessary to supplement with other reading options. We know with repeated reading, it increases the likelihood that students will remember the concepts. Here’s a bibliography of books by topic to get you started.
National Geographic Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Zoehfeld
Learning about Rocks by Mari Schuh
What is the Rock Cycle? by Natalie Hyde
Super Simple Rock Cycle Projects by Jessie Alkire
Curious about Fossils by Kate Waters
Fossils Tell about Long Ago by Aliki
Plate Tectonics by Julia Quinlan
Weathering and Erosion
Erosion and Weathering (Rocks: The Hard Facts) by Willa Dee
Weathering and Erosion by Torrey Maloaf
Protecting the Environment:
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Recycle! A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons
Activities that Support Geology Studies:
Resources from the Virginia is for Teachers Team:
This FUN partner play is great for integrating reading with your geology unit. This partner play works well for small group reading lessons and helps students who may need a little extra support review key concepts in SOL 5.7. The reading level is approximately 4th grade, and the set includes close reading activities for repeated reading and comprehension reinforcement. $3.00
Also from Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom, you’ll find this task card set of 28 question cards, 2 student response sheets, and an answer key. Questions are open-ended and fill in the blank. They make a great science center, SCOOT activity, or review game! Topics include the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, types of rocks, the rock cycle, weathering, erosion, and deposition. This set sells for $3.00.
Although Julie, The Techie Teacher, no longer lives in Virginia, she’ll always be a VA Blogger! This set in her store is aligned with SOL 5.7 and offers another cross curricular option to support your science standards during the ELA block. There are four reading passages with comprehension questions. $3.50
Free Resources for Geology Studies:
Geology is a really fun unit to teach, and kids really do find more interest in rocks after the unit is complete. With emphasis on weathering and erosion as well as environmental studies, hopefully your students will also become good stewards for our planet too. Thanks for visiting, and if you have suggestions for this unit, please add them in the comments.