Monday, May 16, 2011

The Rock Cycle

There is fun in store for students at this school today.

Cinda is telling the students the story of the rock cyle and how Rocky moves through it from Igneous to Sedimentary to Metamorphic.

The students walked down the hall to another room where Mike Manning, a retired science teacher, had a wonderful display of rocks set up on tables. He brings his collection to various groups in the area.  For more information you can contact him at 937-552-4705.

 He said this was the youngest group he has worked with.  He had no trouble keeping their attention.  The students were fascinated by the stories he told about the rocks.

Here he holds a magnetic rock that a paper clip will cling to.

Mike is holding bauxite and an aluminum can that is made from this rock.

After Mike talked about each rock on the table, he invited the students to come up and touch them.  The students were impressed by how different one rock felt from another. They noted the wide variety of colors.

Here are two of Mike's  geode specimens.

But there was an even greater treat in store. Back in the classroom each group of two students was given a bag of dirt to dump into a seine. The dirt filtered out into the water and wonderful rocks were left behind.

Mike sat up a cabinet with rock samples labeled. The students took the rocks they found and compared them to the ones in the cabinet. Mike helped them find the matches. And best of all the students were allowed to keep the rocks they had found.

The last activity of the day was making the hats the students will wear when they perform with the Banana Slug String Band..

John was wearing the Metamorphic hat when he helped hold up the flannelboard while Cinda told the story of Rocky on the Rock Cycle.  Some of the students made hats like John's.  Others made Igneous hats or Sedementary hats.


  1. I am in the midst of preparing a rock and mineral presentation to a group of 4th graders. Could I ask what other topics you included in your presentation?

  2. The children went out for a day at Charleston Falls, one of the Miami County Parks. The web site is

    Cinda Hanbach-Pinkerton, Education Director, and her staff of about 20 people designed the entire program. She gives presentations of the program to people interested in similar programs.

    Activities on the day at the park...The staff led them on a hike with stations along the way. The students broke open geodes, discussed the erratic rocks in the park brought down by the glaciers, went into the cave and discussed the formation of caves, discussed the formation of the falls. The children heard a staff member read a book about choosing a special rock, and in the process, covered many characteristics of rocks. They were allowed to pick one special rock from a streambed to take home. At another station, they had models and examples of the way we use rock (salt, aluminum, etc.). All of the stations include hands on activites. I'm not sure I have covered everything.

    Cinda would be open to helping you.

  3. Thought of one more thing. Rocks ground very fine by the natural elements become part of the soil and so...Dirt Made Your Lunch. Hope you are able to pick the pertinant topics out of these two comments for your presentation. Good luck.

    Mike closed his presentation of the various types of rocks with an example of (don't know the correct name...whatever fossilized poop is called). After he passed it around, he told the group what they had been touching. I bet they always remember that.

    Another station was focused on rocks disinegrating into particles so fine they become part of Dirt Made Your Lunch.

    Good luck with your presentation. Rocks can be a fascinating subject for children as well as for us adults.