Rock Cycle Roundabout

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In this activity, learners will learn how igneous rock, metamorphic rock, and sedimentary rock are formed as part of the rock cycle and that the same forces that produce/change rocks also produce/change landforms. They will learn this by playing a game where one player must describe a type of rock (that is chosen by random card selection) to another player who then must guess what type of rock that is. Then, there may be a discussion of geologic time and learners can create a timeline model based on the sequence of rock types that were chosen in the game.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Rock Cycle Record sheet (1 per student)
  • Rock Cycle Roundabout board (1 per group)
  • Rock Cycle Cards (1 set per 4 – 6 students)
  • Small Rocks or other small objects for game pieces (1 per student), not provided
  • Optional: Rock samples (metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary types)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics
      • Geochemical Cycles
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time

Informal Categories

  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • hear

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • California Academy of Sciences


  • , California Academy of Sciences, 2010