Geology Unit Study – 5 Fun Weeks of Earth Science

geology unit study for homeschool

This fun Geology Unit Study is perfect for elementary school kids of all ages!

Studying rocks may not sound like a barrel of fun, but this geology unit study is great for getting kids engaged and excited about earth science! 

It’s designed for homeschool students in grades 1-5 and can easily be adapted for Kindergarten and middle school if needed. 

What topics does the Geology Unit Study cover?

This Geology homeschool unit study from The Reluctant Homeschool Mama covers the following topics:

  • The rock cycle
  • Crystals and gems
  • Igneous rocks
  • Weathering and erosion
  • Sedimentary rocks
  • Metamorphic rocks

(If you are interested in topics such as volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, and more, check out our Earth Science Homeschool Unit Study right here!)

Free Unit Study Planner printable pack

If you haven’t already grabbed the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s free Homeschool Unit Study Planner printable pack, you’ll definitely want to do that now!

You’ll get 8 different pages to help you plan your homeschool unit study so it’s well organized and perfect for your homeschool. 

Click right here or on the image below!

free unit study planner

{{Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission if you click through or purchase at no cost to you. For more information, click here.}}

How to schedule the Geology Unit Study for your homeschool

This unit study is designed to take ten 1-hour science sessions. 

In our homeschool, we do science two days a week for an hour each time (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), so this unit study took us five weeks to complete. 

Related article: Homeschool Unit Studies – What Are They? And Why Do People Love Them? 

If you do science every day, you can definitely adjust as needed. You may want to consider spending ten days, each about 60-minutes in length. 

Here’s an in-depth look at the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Geology Unit Study!

The Rock Cycle

Understanding the rock cycle is definitely foundational for this unit study, so it’s a great idea to make sure your students are familiar with it before you proceed! 

Here are some great resources for teaching about the rock cycle:

Magic School Bus Inside the Earth

This charming science book series delivers great information in an easy-to-understand format for kids.

Combined with our free Rock Cycle worksheet in the Geology Unit Study Printable Pack, this book will make a full day’s science study.

rock cycle worksheet

To get your free copy of the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Geology Printable Pack in the Free Resource Library click right here!

Dancing Bear Rock, Mineral, and Fossil Kit

This awesome rock kit kept my homeschool kids busy for nearly an hour, and I barely had to do a thing!

They loved searching through the rocks, organizing them by colors and shapes, and searching to see which ones we had that also appeared on the handy included chart.

(Give them a magnifying glass or an inexpensive handheld microscope like this and they’ll be in heaven!)

Spending time with this kit can definitely help kids get more excited about this homeschool geology unit study!

Free Geology Unit Study Printables

If you’re considering a Geology study for your homeschool sometime soon, be sure to grab the free 12-page Geology Unit Study Worksheets in our Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Free Resource Library!

You’ll get worksheets about the rock cycle, fun wordsearches, a vocabulary page, charts to complete, matching definitions, word unscrambles, and a final unit study review!

Click right here or on the image below to get access!

geology unit study printables

Crystals and Gems

You can easily spend two 1-hour sessions studying crystals and gems with your kids! 

Here are some of our favorite resources:  

Crystal Growing Kit

This crystal-growing kit is a ton of fun! Over the course of our nine-year homeschooling career, we’ve done it twice now and both times we’ve had fantastic results.

Geode Cracking Kit

This kit comes with 10 different geodes to crack open!

We were planning to space this out and crack one geode per lesson of the entire Geology unit study, but it was so much fun that everyone wanted a turn! 

Honestly, there was some disappointment that every geode we cracked open looked exactly the same inside. We were really hoping to find different colors, such as red, blue, purple, or green, but all of ours were white inside.

The Rock and Gem Book

This book is full of beautiful, colorful illustrations of rocks, crystals, and gems.

It’s definitely worth adding to your homeschool library reference collection, so your kids can easily come back and review what they’ve learned.

The Hope Diamond Mystery video

If your kids are intrigued by the mystery of the Hope Diamond, there are several great videos available on YouTube!

For a great 8-minute overview, check this one out:

If any of your kids love mysteries or are really intrigued by the stories surrounding the Hope Diamond, this 40-minute video gives a lot of in-depth information. It’s perfect for upper elementary-aged students.

After studying crystals and gems, it’s time to move on to igneous rocks.

Igneous Rocks

These igneous rocks activities can be completed in one 60-minute session.

For each major type of rock, we highly recommend a series of books by Cecilia Brannon. They’re perfectly written for middle-grade elementary students and can be read aloud for younger-elementary kids.

The igneous rock book from this set is called A Look at Igneous Rocks.

(While it is available on Amazon, definitely look for the whole set at your local library! Look under call number 552.4)

Igneous rock observations

You may have several example of igneous rocks right in your home!

Gather igneous rocks such as:

  • pumice stone (used for cleaning porcelain or scrubbing off hard skin on feet)
  • granite (kitchen or bathroom countertops)
  • obsidian (used on some cutting tools and household knives)

Then have your kids look at each type of igneous rock with a magnifying glass or a small microscope.

Worksheet

Finally, have your kids fill out the Igneous Rocks worksheet in the free printable Geology pack!

igneous rocks

Weathering and Erosion

Following the typical order of the rock cycle, weather and erosion are the next topic of study in our Geology Homeschool Unit Study.

You can cover both of these topics in one 60-minute session and two simple at-home science demonstrations.

Water erosion demonstration

For this simple water erosion demonstration, all you need is one bar of soap.

Have your kids unwrap the soap and place it in the bottom of a bathroom soap, directly under the faucet. Then turn on the water to a slow drip.

Set a timer and go back to check how the soap has changed during one-hour intervals throughout the day.

Weathering demonstration

For this weather demonstration, you’ll need:

  • several sugar cubes
  • a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag
  • some loose gravel

Put the sugar cubes in the bag, along with a handful or two of gravel.

Then shake the bag vigorously for about one minute. Let your kids observe the sugar cubes and see how they’ve changed!

This easy weathering demonstration was my kids’ favorite part of the entire geology unit study!

Sedimentary Rocks

You can cover sedimentary rocks really well in one 1-hour science period.

We highly recommend A Look at Sedimentary Rocks by Cecilia Brannon as a great textbook for this topic!

(Remember, look for it at your local library!)

At-home sedimentary rock project

For this easy project, you’ll need:

  • 4 or 5 different colors of modeling clay
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pin
  • wire, either floral wire or picture hanging wire both work well

Have your kids choose one color of clay to serve as their base layer of rock. Cover it with a large piece of plastic wrap and use the rolling pin to roll it out to less than 1-ince thick.

Then peel off the plastic wrap and choose another color for the second layer of sedimentary rock. Place the plastic wrap on the new layer and roll it flat as well.

Repeat this process until you’ve used all the different colors of clay.

Then take a length of wire and use it to cut a v-shape down into the clay, so you can remove a cross section of the “rock.”

Sedimentary rock worksheet

Finish off your sedimentary rock study by helping your kids fill in the worksheet provided in the free Geology Unit Study Printable Workbook!

sedimentary rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

These metamorphic rock activities can be done in one 60-minute science section.

As with the igneous and sedimentary rock studies, we highly recommend the book A Look at Metamorphic Rocks that’s part of the 3-book set by Cecilia Brannon.

If you can’t find it at your local library, it’s worth looking into on Amazon!

Metamorphic rock demonstration

For this fun and easy metamorphic rock demonstration, you’ll need:

  • 3-4 folded blankets
  • 2 laundry baskets of similar size
  • plenty of space

To begin, pile several folded blankets one of top of the other to form a small stack.

Place the two laundry baskets on opposite sides of the blanket pile.

Then have two kids push the baskets as hard as they can toward each other and the center of the pile.

As they do this, the blanket rocks will fold and change. You can also have your kids sit on top to compress the rocks or add heat. (You can probably guess how my 8-year-old boy wanted to add “heat” to the pile of metamorphic rocks! 🙂

Metamorphic rock worksheet

Finally, have your kids fill out their metamorphic rock review worksheet at the end of your science period.

metamorphic rocks

Review Day

Before finishing any unit study, it’s a great idea to have a review day at the end of it!

This way, you’ll be able to see how much your kids have learned, if they have any lingering misconceptions, and what they enjoyed about the unit study overall.

During your review day, you might consider:

  • playing a fun rock memory game from Rock Your Homeschool
  • finishing worksheets in our free Geology Unit Study printable pack
  • visiting a local museum with a gem, crystal, or rock display
  • going on a rock hunt in your neighborhood
  • getting your rock kit back out and seeing how much your kids can tell you about each type of rock

Final thoughts about this geology unit study

To be honest, I know my kids weren’t really looking forward to this homeschool science unit study. But by the end of it, all of them could easily admit that rocks were way more interesting and they’d had a lot more fun than they’d anticipated! 

And that, to me, is a homeschool mom win! I hope your kids will enjoy it too!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this Geology Unit Study in the comments below!

Related articles about homeschool unit studies:

Dinosaur Unit Study – 15 Fun Activities for Your Homeschool Students

Olympics Homeschool Unit Study – 11 Ideas Your Kids Will Love 

5 Easy Steps to Creating a Homeschool Unit Study

Pin the image below to return to this article easily in the future!

geology unit study pin

Have you considered putting together a geology unit study for your homeschool?

Geology Unit Study - 5 Fun Weeks of Earth ScienceGeology Unit Study - 5 Fun Weeks of Earth ScienceGeology Unit Study - 5 Fun Weeks of Earth ScienceGeology Unit Study - 5 Fun Weeks of Earth Science

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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