Start a Rock Collection

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Learners follow a three-step process to start their own rock collection. Learners will collect rocks, record information about each rock on a Rock Chart, observe and sort their rocks, and create a rock display. This activity also includes a book list with resources for rock classification.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • sandwich bags
  • small shovel or spade
  • permanent marker
  • printout of My Rock Chart
  • bucket, bag, or backpack to carry your rocks
  • deep bowl, pot, or bucket to clean your rocks
  • soap or dishwashing liquid to clean your rocks
  • old rag or paper towels
  • locations to gather rocks
  • pencil
  • containers to hold rocks (i.e. shoe box, egg carton)
  • clear plastic wrap (optional)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Collecting
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Ology


  • All rights reserved, American Museum of Natural History,