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Match Rock

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    The Exploratorium

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Match Rock

In this activity, learners try to figure out who has their matching rock type by reading a description of their rock (no talking!). This activity can be used in a variety of ways: to introduce students to each other (icebreaker), to improve communication and writing skills, to introduce classification schemes and taxonomy, and to show how scientists use observations and descriptions to draw links between others' data and interpretations.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Rocks of various geneses (i.e. Granite, marble, sandstone, mudstone, gneiss, basalt, etc..)
  • Hammer
  • Surface to break rocks
  • Magnifying lens
  • Vinegar
  • Tape
  • Paper or note cards
  • Pencils


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
      • Fossils

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Muller, Eric


  • All Rights Reserved, ©2003


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