Embed knowledge of the processes with this fact sheet, poster and game

Earth’s rocks don’t stay the same forever. They are always changing from one form to another due to weathering, transportation, pressure and heat. We don’t see these transformations owing to the huge timescales involved, but we make use of the materials they produce in the construction of our schools, houses and roads.

There is no set route around the rock cycle; sedimentary rocks are not all converted into metamorphic rocks before then forming igneous rocks. The transformations that happen depend on the conditions the rocks are exposed to.

Download this

Infographic poster, fact sheet and Rock and roll board game. Display the poster in your classroom or on a projector. Alternatively, print it and use it as a handout.

Use the accompanying board game to help students avoid the common misconception that there is only one set path through the rock cycle. 

  • Poster as pdf.
  • Fact sheet at MS Word or pdf.
  • Game board, sample cards and collection record cards together as a pdf.
  • Game instructions for learners as MS Word or pdf.
  • Teacher notes as MS Word or pdf.

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Processes in the rock cycle

Scroll through the processes and rock types.

Did you know …?

Geologists measure the hardness of rock using the Mohs scale, introduced in 1822 by Friedrich Mohs. It is based simply on one mineral’s ability to scratch another.

The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland wasn’t really built by a giant but, in fact, was formed 5060 million years ago from columns of basalt, an extrusive igneous rock. Although the mainly hexagonal shape of the columns is thought to be linked to the cooling and shrinking of successive lava flows on reaching the sea, scientists are still working on theories to fully explain the unusual structure.

Did you know …?

Igneous comes from the word ignis which means fire in Latin.

Teaching 11–14 students?

Then you need the poster, fact sheet and structure strips for the water cycle

Perfect for roofs

Slate is a metamorphic rock usually formed from mudstone. When exposed to heat and pressure the microscopic crystals of the minerals in the mudstone form parallel layers perpendicular to the compaction force. This makes it easy to split into thin sheets and perfect for roof tiles.

Did you know …?

Glass is made from liquid sand. Most beach sand is grains of silicon dioxide (or quartz). When melted then cooled it is transformed into glass.

Stalactites and stalagmites

Limestone caves often contain columns of rock either hanging from the ceiling or coming up from the floor. Calcium and carbonate ions from the limestone dissolve in water passing through the ceilings of the caves. When the solution drips into the cave, the water evaporates to leave behind calcium carbonate either as a stalactite hanging from the ceiling, or as a stalagmite coming up from the cave floor.

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