Page Contents
Questions to Ponder
Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Survey
Rock Identification
What's a Hoodoo?
Choice Work
Weathering and Erosion - Quiz Game
The Difference Between Weathering and Erosion - video
Weathering Experiments
Two Kinds of Weathering - slideshow
The Rock Cycle - self paced lessons
Rock Cycle Active Art
Rock Scavenger Hunt
Formation of the Delmarva Peninsula
Materials and Processes Notes
Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Quiz
Unit Review - Prezi
Rocks Games

As students consider phenomena that play a role in sculpting the surface of the Earth, students become aware that Earth has changed over time and continues to change. Students investigate both short and long-term effects of erosion and weathering by wind and water and the rapid, dramatic changes caused by phenomena such as Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes.

Go to Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Objectives

Questions to Ponder

  • Can you describe something near where you live that has been weathered? What kind of weathering has it been shaped by?
  • Can you draw a rock cycle diagram that shows all of the steps?
  • Why is it important to understand the processes that change rocks?

Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Survey
Take the following survey to let me know what you know about Earth Science.

What does this video have to do with Geology (Earth Science)?

external image Three_hoodoos_in_Bryce_Canyon.jpg&ei=gJfZS9vcCYG8lQfCtry0Dw&sa=X&oi=image_landing_page_redirect&ct=legacy&usg=AFQjCNGnC3WYL4wToqBMEE1usvzKgI1zIA
Hoodoos are naturally occurring landforms that are shaped by the processes of weathering and erosion.
  1. Read the following articles about hoodoos and then log on to the HonerScience Blog and answer the question.
  2. Come up with a new name for the rock formations known as Hoodoos. Explain why the name you made up is better than Hoodoo.

Go to the Blog

Weathering and Erosion
Try this game to learn more about weathering and erosion. First click on the question mark button to read about the forces that can change the natural world.

Difference between Weathering and Erosion:


Weathering Experiments
To learn more about the forces that cause changes to the Earth's surface, we will conduct three experiments that simulate the different weathering processes.

#1 - Effects of Acid Rain (Vinegar) on Copper (Pennies)

Question: How does vinegar affect copper pennies?


1. Materials: 2 pennies, 2 clear plastic dishes, vinegar, water, beaker or measuring cup, clock or timer
2. Place a penny in each plastic dish.
3. Pour white vinegar over the penny in one dish and an equal amount of water in the other. Be sure to use the same amount of each.
4. Observe and record initial observations below.
5. Make and record further observations after 5 minutes.

Type of Solvent
Initial Observations
After 5 Minutes



New Question

#2 - Effects of Sand on Sugar Cubes

Question: To what extent does sand affect the weathering of rocks?


1. Materials: 2 sugar cubes, sand, baby food jar with lid, clock or timer
2. Place 2 sugar cubes in jar.
3. Put 2-3 spoons of sand in jar.
4. Put lid on jar and shake for 2 minutes. Record observations below.
5. Shake jar for 2 more minutes and record observations.
6. Shake jar for an additional 2 minutes and record final observations.

After 2 Minutes
After 4 Minutes
After 6 Minutes


New Question:

Get a Stopwatch like this or make your own! At: Online Stopwatch

#3 - Effects of Water and Vinegar on Limestone

Question: To what extent does water and vinegar affect the weathering of limestone?


1. Materials: 2 chalk samples, 2 clear beakers, water, vinegar, beaker or measuring cup, clock or timer
2. Label one cup “water” and the other “vinegar”.
3. Pour 25 mL vinegar into one beaker and 25 mL water in the other beaker.
4. Place 1 piece of chalk in each cup.
5. Record your initial observations in the table below.
6. Let stand for 5 minutes and record final observations.

Initial Observations
After 5 Minutes



New Question:

Get a Stopwatch like this or make your own! At: Online Stopwatch

Click on the following links for the experiments:

Include the following terms in your Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet notes:
  • weathering
  • two kinds of weathering
  • physical weathering
  • chemical weathering
  • erosion

Two Kinds of Weathering

How the Delmarva Peninsula was formed

Check this site out for some great information about how the Delmarva Peninsula and Chesapeake bay was formed.

external image rock_top_01.gif
The Rock Cycle
Discover rock secrets through these activities. Create a rock collection as you learn about the three main types of rock, find out how to tell the different rock types apart, and see how rocks change from one type into another!
The following website is a self-paced series of activities to learn about the rock cycle and the different ways rocks can be transformed.
During this self-paced series of lessons you will do the following:
  1. read and take two column notes on each of the three lessons
  2. complete the interactive
  3. take the self test
  4. complete the final test

Click here to begin!

Here is another Rock Cycle Animation to help you better understand the process of changing rocks.

Include the following terms in your Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet notes:
  • Igneous rock
  • intrusive rock
  • extrusive rock
  • sediment
  • deposition
  • sedimentary rock
  • metamorphic
  • heat and pressure
  • the Rock Cycle

Rock Cycle Active Art
Click here for a Rock Cycle Active Art Activity. Choose start, read all of the directions and complete the activity. When you are done, complete the self-test.

Rock Identification
In the following activity you will learn about the characteristics of the different types of rocks - igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. During the online portion be sure to make observations about the real rocks at your station and try to match them up with what you see on the computer.

Create a data table in your science notebook to collect data during your rock identification. Click here to see a sample:
When you are ready to start, click on the following link - Rock Identification

Include the following terms in your Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet notes:
  • grains
  • texture
  • rock forming mineral

Choice Work

Choice work is when you get the opportunity to make decisions about how you are going to learn.
Here are the guidelines:
1. You may complete as many of the activities listed within the time period.
2. You may choose any combination of activities.
3. Your goal is 100 points.
4. You may be as creative as you like within the guidelines of the assignment.
5. Activities may be turned in at any time during the working time period.

Click here for the Rocks Choice Work Direction Sheet.

Choice Work Resources

Rocks For Kids
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Tips on How to Make a Crossword Puzzle
Puzzle Maker - Use this to make a Crossword Puzzle!

Rock Scavenger Hunt

As you can see, rocks are everywhere around us! In the Rock Scavenger Hunt you will look for different rocks outside and try to identify them using a dichotomous key. Scientists use dichotomous keys to easily identify things that they find in nature.

1. Start by downloading the worksheet that has the list of rocks you will find. - rocks worksheet
2. Research the rocks so you know what they look like. Use this site:
3. Go out and find the rocks! Use the worksheet to draw pictures of what you find and to write a description for each rock that you find.
4. Use the Rock Key (a dichotomous key for identifying rocks) to see if you found what you were looking for.

Vietnam Cave Article

Formation of the Delmarva Peninsula

Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet

Key terms
Definitions, facts, examples
  • process in which rocks exposed to the weather are worn down by water, wind, or ice
two kinds of weathering
  • physical and chemical
physical weathering
  • when rocks are broken down without any change in the chemical nature of the rocks
  • cracks in the road, frost wedging in rocks, roots breaking up a sidewalk
chemical weathering
  • rocks are decomposed, dissolved or loosened by chemical processes
  • the carrying away of weathered materials by
    • wind, water, and ice are the primary agents of erosion
    • gravity is the primary force that causes erosion
  • Particles that make up rocks minerals or other rocks
  • The look and feel of surface of rock
  • Rough, smooth, glassy, etc
  • determined by size of the minerals
Rock forming mineral
  • One of approx. 20 minerals that make up the earth's crust Ex – mica, horneblend,
Igneous rock
  • Forms when magma or lava cools and hardens
  • Ex. obsidian
Intrusive rock
  • Igneous rock that forms underground
  • ex. Granite
Extrusive rock
  • Igneous rock that forms on the surface of the earth
  • ex. Pumice, basalt
  • Small, solid pieces of material which come from other rocks or living things
  • ex. Rocks, shells, leaves, bones
  • When sediments settle out
Sedimentary rock
  • Forms from compaction and cementation of pieces of rocks or remains of animals
  • ex. limestone
Compaction and Cementation
  • Pressing of the sediments together
  • sediments are joined together by crystallized minerals
Metamorphic rock
  • Formed from other rocks under heat and pressure
  • ex. Gneiss, slate
Heat and pressure
  • Changes rocks from sedimentary or igneous into metamorphic.
  • The heat comes from the mantle the pressure from surrounding rock
The Rock Cycle
  • the processes that change one form of rock into another

Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Flashcards-

Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet Quiz

Take the Materials and Processes Quiz to show your knowledge!

Unit Review

Click here for a study guide to go along with the Prezi Review.

Try this Cool Rock Cycle Game to see if you can catch Taterman!

Fun With Really Big Rocks