Posted on Leave a comment

Rocks and Minerals Unit Study Ideas

My boys love to skip rocks. No matter if we’re by a lake, stream, or river – some stone is getting tossed into the water. It’s a contagious activity really. Who can make the most bounces. It truly comes down to finding the perfect rock. Our last day in the Grand Tetons, skipping rocks, one child decided to fill up his pockets with treasures rather than toss them away. The tactile child immediately noticed the rocks were much different than the rocks in Florida. I knew as soon as we arrived back home we’d be starting a Rocks and Minerals Unit Study.

Use these fun ideas to create your next Rocks and Minerals mini unit study. Plus three free downloads for Members.

Rocks and Minerals Study For Homeschool Science

Regardless of topic, always hit up your local library when creating a unit study! The library is a homeschool mom’s best friend (before we count up the late fines). Each child is assigned a job of finding one book to contribute to the current unit study topic. My boys are highly competitive so we always end up with more than one book each. We gathered many books, everyone carrying an arm load of information. Be sure to find more than one rock, mineral, gemstone, etc. identification guide and maybe a biography on a famous geologist, James Hutton is the “Father of Modern Geology”.

Start a Rock Collection

You can take a Nature Walk and find rocks in your backyard, but I decided to buy a rock set online. Veteran Homeschool Mom Tip: ask your homeschool friends if they have a rock collection or gem set. Once our set arrived I shared with a friend I purchased a box and of course she had three different sets on a shelf somewhere in her homeschool room. Don’t forget to ask your crystal loving friends too! I’m sure they have some quartz, tiger’s eye, and amethyst ready to be examined.

Use these fun ideas to create your next Rocks and Minerals mini unit study. Plus three free downloads for Members.

We were very pleased with the variety in our set and spent several days sorting them and trying to identify them. Some sets include a color sheet with names. I created my own sheets for identification and quizzes. Little learners can start by sorting rocks by color, shape, and size.

Free Rock Worksheets

Homeschool Nature Study Members can print My Rock Journal and Rock Types we created just for you. For older students who may have already studied rocks, print the Earth’s Layers Worksheet. You can download all these from your dashboard in your Rocks Course.

Use these fun ideas to create your next Rocks and Minerals mini unit study. Plus three free downloads for Members.

Rock Field Trip

After you’ve hit the library and loaded up on your own collection of rocks, be sure to plan a Rock Field Trip! We were visiting Minnesota and noticed a few great waterfalls to hike around. Read: Waterfalls & Creeks before you go. The family wanted to head north on a pretty drive up to Canada. We found an Amethyst Mine where we were able to hammer, chisel, and keep our own bucket of amethyst! Years later when we moved to Colorado we toured an active gold mine in the Rockies. It was such a great experience wearing hard hats and working the mine. You can find these interesting places with just a quick search online.

Keep an eye out on your next vacation. Veteran Homeschool Mom Tip: vacation is never truly just a vacation. We’re always learning! Check out the local things you can do for homeschool interests and build on what you learned at home. When we visited DC we spent days hitting the Smithsonian.

If you cannot visit a real or active mine – visit the museum! Geology became really exciting for us once we moved from sea level Florida to mile high Colorado.

Science Centers, Natural Museums, and Learning Centers are full of these wonderful stones. Google “rock exhibits near me“. You will be surprised how many traveling exhibits bring in such interesting gems.

We are incredibly lucky to be near the Denver Science & Nature Museum. They have a huge permanent display of rocks and gems. Plus the History Colorado Center, a museum in downtown Denver, shares the History of mining and tools (who doesn’t love learning about “The Widow Maker”), and offers fun hands-on explosive exhibits.

Rock Art

We believe all lessons should have some type of art component. We wrapped up our rock unit study by painting rocks and leaving them on trails for others to find. You might not be able to mine amethyst, but you can paint a rock purple! Or even yellow with a giant smile. Leave a rainbow behind for a special keepsake. We’ve noticed in our travels some small towns hide rocks along their main street shopping area. We really enjoyed swapping rocks in Winter Garden, Florida.

rock art

We hope you create a fun time learning with your students with these rocks and minerals unit study ideas. Are you a Homeschool Nature Study Member? If not join the community for tips, ideas, unit studies, and #outdoorhourchallenges.

Stef Layton Bio

Stef started homeschooling her boys in 2008. She quickly adopted a hands-on learning homeschool style and graduated her oldest tactile learner in 2021. Stef started the Hands-On Learning column in Homeschooling Today magazine. The Laytons currently reside in the foothills of Colorado where Stef also teaches yoga. The family loves to hike trails, stand-up paddle board, and chase sunsets. Stef shares travel and homeschool tips on IG at @LaytonAdventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *