February 18, 2013

Rocks & Minerals Unit

My class just finished learning about rocks and minerals. They LOVED it! We haven't focused too much on science before this, but our principal wants lower grades to start emphasizing science more. I am all for that! I designed this unit to help my second graders understand the 3 types of rocks and recognize characteristics of rocks and minerals.

One day we had to skip science (to go look at the book fair) and they all got so worried. As soon as the class looked at our schedule I heard:
"Why don't we have science in our schedule?"
"We're not stopping science are we?"
"When will we do science again?"
and on and on...

Seeing how much they enjoyed science and how much their vocabulary and knowledge grew makes me want to continue teaching science this way. It is very activity-based in hopes they will remember it for longer.

When we were doing our rock stations I had a student get checked out (her sister was sick and so mom was just going to check them both out). A few minutes later the office called and said she was coming back to class because she didn't want to leave. She came and told me she didn't want to miss science. How cool is that!?!

Here are some pictures from my class:
Our bulletin board (all these pages are included in my unit)
Each student brought a rock from home and went through my Pet Rock Stations to discover more about their rock. They measured it, tested to see if it floated, compared its weight with a friend's rock, tested to see if it was magnetic, sorted rocks by size, and compared rocks using a Venn diagram.
After the pet rock stations they got to paint and decorate their pet rock.
I love looking at their finished rocks!
A short story I made to introduce the three types of rocks and how they are formed. I put the pages in page protectors in a three-prong folder.
We did 3 edible activities to help students understand how each rock type is formed.
Rock stations: students researched rocks and minerals from books, they used magnifying glasses to observe rocks and minerals, they tested to see which rocks could float and which were magnetic, they compared the weight of rocks with a balance scale, they played a definition matching game, a board game with review questions, and sorted rocks by rock type.
My students LOVED all the activities and I am so impressed to hear them talk about rocks. Here is a peek at my unit on TpT:
I went on a little shopping spree on Amazon to collect books that would be good for read-alouds and student research. Here are some of the books I bought:
I also bought a set of magnifying glasses and magnets to help them investigate rock properties.

 This unit took for-ev-er to make, but it was so worth it! I feel it was very successful, and I can't wait to plan my next science unit! 

You have a chance to win this unit for FREE by entering Apples, Books, and Crayons 100 Follower Giveaway!
I also want to share the love with some of my followers. I'll email this unit to the first three people to comment on this blog post!

Check out 2nd Grade Pad's linky for more science activities!


  1. Your unit looks great!


  2. I'd love one!

  3. I know it is a product on my giveaway but I would LOVE this unit!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

    1. Wow! I am So impressed and I am so glad I ran across your Blog it is great! Thanks for all your hard work. I am going to put this on my wish list!

  4. Their pet rocks are too cute! What a fun unit!

    Live Love Laugh and Teach!

  5. Oooh Caitlin I have this on my TPT wishlist already..... my homeschooler started asking me about rocks last week, as we drove past a landscaped rock wall near our house.
    And so topical with the "space rocks" falling from the sky. Lol! Thank you for putting all the hours into this - it just looks awesome and will make a lot of educators lives easier. Cheers Sally and Rosie. thursdaytook@hotmail.com

  6. Hi Caitlin - I'm a newbie follower from Christina's giveaway and I just have to say that I LOVE your blog. I absolutely love this product, too. Teaching about rocks and minerals is one of my favorite things to do :)

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  7. What an amazing unit! I love it. We just finished our rock unit and this would have been wonderful. I will definitely use this for next year!


  8. Caitlin! I love these ideas :) We used your free vocabulary cards this week and they were perfect. I gave you and the cards a shout out on my blog! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  9. How amazing is this unit! Thank you so much for donating it to my giveaway! You are so generous! (You know I can't wait to return the favor!) The giveaway will start tomorrow!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  10. Your blog is adorable!! I'm your newest follower :)


  11. Wow! We are starting our rock unit next week and this looks fabulous! And thank you for the book ideas! I am getting ready to order a few of them!

    ~Diving Into Learning

  12. I am a student teacher and getting ready to do a whole lesson about rocks and soil! This looks like an amazing lesson plan. I can't wait to try it! I'm a new follower :)


  13. I would love a copy of this unit! My kiddos would really enjoy it :-)


  14. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


  15. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


  16. Hey!!! I came upon your unit while trying to write a unit on rocks and minerals myself for a class assignment. I was wondering where you got the artwork in you stations and the backgrounds on your vocab cards, like the polka dots and zigzags.

  17. Love this unit. I would love to get it for my classroom. I loved reading your blog.

    Tracy Owens

  18. I am trying to find some fun additions to our first grade pebbles, sand, and silt unit. Great site and ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    Renee at Science School Yard

  19. Hi Caitlin, I live in South Africa and teach children in the bush about the bush. Your unit it wonderful and I know the children would really love it. Would it be possible for you to email me a copy? My email is willemwabeke@gmail.com

    Regards Toto

  20. Hi Caitlin,
    I love your unit!! Looks great. I would love a copy. My email is kbrennan3383@gmail.com.

  21. Hi Caitlin,
    I am a teaching student. Is there a way to purchase these materials?

  22. I would love to get a copy. How do I get it? Starting this in a few weeks.

  23. Hi
    I am mother of grade 2 child , my son as lot of love towards studying about earth and how is it make.
    I was teaching him about rock and minerals. found your material very interesting.
    can you please sent the complete copy of ROCK and MINERALS to my mail id :-- shwethajp@gmail.com

  24. Hi,
    I know this post is a year old. However I would love a copy of this unit.


  25. HI

    I am planning on teaching a rock unit with my 2nd graders. I love your ideas. Can I please have a copy of your unit? Thank you so much!!!
    Jon B

  26. Hi,
    I really like this unit. Can you send me a copy of it too!
    Thank you,
    Mary F.

  27. Hi,
    I really like this unit. Can you send me a copy of it too!
    Thank you,
    Mary F.

  28. Thank you for your inspiration. I would love a copy of your rocks unit. We are studying rocks now. Thank you.

  29. Your rock unit is amazing. I can see why the children didn't want to miss it. We are visiting the geology museum in a couple weeks and I would love to use your unit.

  30. Hi Caitlyn, I am currently teaching this unit to my students whose English is not their first language. Your unit is so clear and visually stimulating that I know my students would enjoy! Would absolutely love a copy if you have the time to send it! Thank you!


  31. Your rock unit looks great! How can teachers get a copy? ibetcaro@yahoo.com

  32. Your rock unit looks great! How can teachers get a copy? ibetcaro@yahoo.com