A simple board game to help students avoid the common misconception that there is only one set path through the rock cycle
The rock cycle is a key topic on the 11–14 curriculum. Some of the key ideas students need to know are that the Earth’s rocks can be classified into one of three types: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary and that they are continually changing as a result of chemical and physical processes.
However, many students mistakenly believe that there is only one set path through the rock cycle. The name ‘cycle’ itself doesn’t help, suggesting a sequence of changes which is often supported by simplified diagrams following one path in a circle. This simple board game is designed to help students avoid this common misconception.
In the game, processes such as weathering and compaction are assigned a number on the dice and students may only move forward around the board when a process is possible from their position in the rock cycle. When they land on a rock zone, they collect a sample card. The winner is the first to collect samples of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock.
- Develop your practice with this ultimate guide to teaching the chemistry of the rock cycle.
- Display this rock cycle infographic poster to brighten up your classroom walls.
- Take a closer look at volcanoes with this article and resource about eruptions.
- Use this lesson plan to challenge learners to construct their own rock cycle and become rock cycle experts.
- Download this lesson plan and find out what happens to weathered pieces of rock in your 11–14 classes.
- Inspire your learners to study geology at university and explain why they need chemistry to do so.