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

An image of the rock cycle game board

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Download the game board, sample cards and collection record cards together with the instructions below

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 a sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock.

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