We were learning about the 3 different types of rocks and their cycles the other day. My kids were interested, but I always like to extend our learning to something that will really catch their attention. So sweets it is! I know that I've used sweets in creating our animal cells and our DNA model, but a sweet treat at the end of our learning ALWAYS makes my kids eager to learn and attentive to new material. Plus, my kids don't usually get candy so using it as a teaching tool is HIGHLY effective for them.
I used a pack of Starburst and cut them into little squares (sediments) so we had different colors (4 of each color for the 5 of us).
I explained to my kids that we were going to begin our rock cycle with a sedimentary rock. I had them grab different "sediments" and use some heat from their hands to stick them together. I explained that:
- sediments can come from erosion (water, wind, and ice)
- they are created by heat
- you can see the individual rocks that make up a sedimentary rock
Next, we created a metamorphic rock. I had them take their sedimentary rock and roll and fold it over and over into their hands. With the help of the heat from their hands, the Starburst became pretty moldable. We just kept working through it, folding it over upon itself and pushing down on it between wax paper (compaction).
I explained that:
- made with heat and pressure
- blended together, can't really see individual sediments
- you can make a sedimentary rock from a metamorphic rock. I cut pieces off of the metamorphic rock and created more "sediments". Stick the sediments together and you have another sedimentary rock.
You can even roll it into a sphere...
The last rock we made was the igneous rock. This required intense heat and pressure since it comes from the middle of the earth. So I put the metamorphic rock into the microwave and we watched it bubble. I told the kids that that is like magma in the center of the earth. It is hot and bubbly. When we took it out of the microwave it became lava (inside the earth= magma, outside the earth= lava), we allowed it to cool, which created our igneous rock. I explained that:
- made with intense heat and pressure
- from the center of the earth
- no distinction of other rocks. ALL blended together
My Chinese mama would have a heart attack if she saw this picture of my kids staring right into the microwave for fear of them growing an extra eye. Don't worry mom, they only looked into this for a couple of seconds.
Our metamorphic rock melted and bubbled when exposed to intense heat.
When it cooled, it became our igneous rock.
The cool thing about the rock cycle is that it doesn't have a specific order it follows. A sedimentary rock can turn into an igneous rock OR a metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks can make sedimentary rocks or igneous rocks, and so on.
At the end, I allowed them to eat ONE rock since I thought of a SUPER yummy treat that I wanted to create with them to end our rock learning.
I promise... he was REALLY excited to eat this. His face is lying.
I wanted to not only cement the learning in, but to also add in some reading, following directions, and math skills. Whenever I can combine multiple life skills into one lesson AND add an element of fun, it's like winning the lottery for me. OK. maybe NOT the lottery, but it does make me very happy!
I had my boys take turns reading and doing each step of the recipe. They grabbed materials, measured, poured, heated, and mixed. My hubby helped my little kinder gal as she mixed and also followed his directions.
This was our tooth-aching...BUT delicious project. I'm serious. I don't even like Rice Krispy treats but WOW, this was AMAZING! I think the Fruity Pebbles did the magic for me in this treat.
Here is what we did used to create our Rockin' Treat:
** I added "-ites" to each treat to make it sound more rock-ish. Is that even a word? It is now.
- krispy-ites (Rice Kripy cereal)
-M&M-ites (chocolate m&ms)
- mallow-ites (mini marshmallows)
- pebbles - no "-ites" needed since pebbles are already rocks (fruity pebbles)
- butter stones - because "but-ites" doesn't sound like something I want to eat. Ha!
We added the butter stones and the mallow-ites in a bowl and made an igneous rock by placing it in the microwave for intense heat. They blended together nicely.
Sorry, I guess I took this picture BEFORE I added the butter stones.
We poured our igneous rock mixture (mallow-ites, butter stones) into the big bowl of the other sediments (pebbles, krispy-ites) and mixed well. Then we added the M&M-ites and continued to mix.
We placed the sediments into a FOIL-LINED (DO THIS STEP! TRUST ME, you'll see why) 9x13 pan. We scraped the super sticky sediments into the dish......
....and pressed down (compaction) to make it even. Don't press too much since it will make the treat too dense.
I *might* have needed to add some extra M&M-ites to our treat because CLEARLY this wasn't sweet enough...
We let it cool for about 2 hours and then enjoyed out treat!
The foil was a life saver! We just pulled the treat RIGHT OUT without having to scrub and soak the sticky dish. If you skipped the foil step.. then I'm not gonna say "I told you so"...but I kinda did.
It's rough learning about rocks (pun intended)...
I'll take one for the team..
Of course, you CANNOT talk about rocks and NOT get rock candy...
Yes, I take full responsibility for their cavities, Mr. Dentist.
Candy rules don't apply when it comes to learning. #sorrynotsorry
No measurements of each ingredients?? No worries. Here is my recipe card FREEBIE! Enjoy your treat!
I'd love to know if you have some other great rock treats that work for you. Until then...
Rock On Friends!