A simple board game to help students avoid the common misconception that there is only one set path through the rock cycle 

Use this game alongside the Education in Chemistry article How to teach the rock cycle at 11–14 and the rock cycle infographic poster.

  • Composite image showing an the rock cycle board game, student sheet and teacher notes.

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    Download the game board, sample cards and collection record cards together as a pdf and the student instructions as MS Word or pdf.

    Download the teacher notes as MS Word or pdf.

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.

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