Tell the History of a Rock

By Susan M. Frack

Background:

Whether a rock is igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic depends on the processes that formed it. All rocks were once igneous rocks formed from the cooling of magma. Some of these original rocks have changed many times to become the rocks we see today on the surface of the earth.

Directions:

Use the following ideas and outline, write a short story about how a rock is formed. Describes what happens to the rock as it goes through the processes that a change it from one type of rock into another type. Use the rock diagram in your textbook to help you keep the story scientifically accurate. You may add to the story or change the order of events in the story line, if you wish. Just be sure to include all the major points. If you make any changes be sure to carry them all the way through the story.

Throughout the story describe how the rock feels as the changes are occurring. Describe changes in its temperature, the pressure on it, and how closely its atoms and molecules are packed together.

Try to use an interesting or unusual story form. Some examples include a mystery, and flashbacks. You may choose to write your story as an autobiography or a biography. Another interesting form is a radio or television interview format. Your rock may be the world's first talking rock! Don't forget that gemstones are also rocks.

You may present your story in the form of a :

  • song
  • poem
  • cartoon
  • TV show
  • play
  • illustrated story
  • radio show
  • etc!!

Use the following outline to help you write the story. Don't forget a title.

Story of a Rock

I. Igneous Rocks

  1. You start as magma. Are you on the surface (lava), near the surface, or deep beneath it?
  2. Cooling
    • Fast or slow?
    • Large or small crystal size; or no crystals?
    • Are any gases trapped inside you?
  3. What is your overall appearance?

II. Sedimentary Rocks

  1. You are being broken into smaller pieces and carried away.
    • What are these processes called?
    • What is causing the breakdown?
    • What is carrying you away?
    • Where are you going?
    • Where do you end up?
  2. You are surrounded by other rock fragments.
    • Are all of you the same size and type?
    • Are more rock fragments piling above you?
  3. You are now sedimentary rocks.
    • What changed you into a sedimentary rock?
    • What is your overall appearance now?
    • How are you different from an igneous rock?

III. Metamorphic Rocks

  1. What must occur to change you into a metamorphic rock?
    • What factors are involved?
    • Where will this change occur?
    • How do you get there?
  2. What do you look like now?
    • Foliated or non-foliated?
    • Crystalline or non-crystalline?
  3. Describe how you are different from igneous and sedimentary rocks.

IV. What might happen to you next?