Rockin' the Rock Cycle

How do you make the Rock Cycle Interesting?

I love geology, I think it is amazing the problem is not many people do. Making the rock cycle interesting without a field trip to Uluru or the Blue Mountains is even more difficult.

I based my lesson on a YouTube I found by Chad Ackerson. He explains the rock cycle beautifully as he demonstrates the lesson. During my lesson I played the YouTube and pressed pause at each stage of the cycle.

Goal: Investigate the Rock Cycle.

Prelearning: 1 lessons

  • Research different types of rocks


  • You will need to cut up 4 lollies into 9 pieces each for the teacher prior to the lesson.
  • Melt 18 of the pieces prior to the lesson so it has time to cool.
  • Keep 18 pieces for the lesson


3 packets of star burst lollies (2 lollies per student + 4 for the teacher)
Groups of 2
Baking Paper - one piece per student
4 coloured pencils
Washed scissors.
Washed hands
Worksheet - one per student
Worksheet Solution - teacher

NSW Outcomes:

  • ST21VA shows interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology, responding to their curiosity, questions and perceived needs, wants and opportunities
    • develop interest and positive, informed values and attitudes towards science and technology
    • recognise the importance and relevance of science and technology in their lives now and for their future
  • ST24WS investigates their questions and predictions by analysing collected data, suggesting explanations for their findings, and communicating and reflecting on the processes undertaken
    • develop knowledge, understanding of and skills in applying the processes of Working Scientifically
  • ST2-8ES describes some observable changes over time on the Earth’s surface that result from natural processes and human activity 

    • describe some changes in the landscape that have occurred over time as a result of natural processes, eg erosion by wind and water

Australian Curriculum Outcomes

  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity(ACSSU075)
  • With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on prior knowledge(ACSIS064)
  • Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS071)


  1. I gave 4 lollies (one of each colour) to each group of 2. I asked students to cut the lollies into 9 pieces.
    Divide the lollies into 2 equal groups so each student has 18 pieces of "sediment" of different colours.
  2. When distributing the lollies I kept 4 lollies for me. I did 2 versions (one of these could be prepared earlier to demonstrate a cool "igneous" rock)
  3. Students should predict what will happen at each stage of the lesson, prior to watching the video. The video may not be required by all classes. I used it to benefit students with audio and visual processing disorders as some students require additional support to follow instructions.
  4. At each stage of the rock cycle, I stopped the video we discussed what what we saw, the process and repeated the activity with lollies. Then drew it on the worksheet.
  5. At each stage we discussed what needed to happen to change to the next stage of the cycle and wrote the answers on the work sheet.
  6. To melt the lollies for the magma/lava I took the class to the staff room and I melted my lollies in the microwave for about 40secs. You could use a school kitchen or an open flame as in the video. I used baking paper not foil.
  7. The students did not melt theirs. I let them eat it once we had finished the worksheet.