California Geology Kit

Explore the physical properties of rocks, minerals, and sand through hands-on observation and investigation. Discover the difference between igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, learn about the rock cycle, and trace the mineral resources used to manufacture objects that you use every day. While appropriate for grades 2 - 5, this kit emphasizes science content standards for grade 4.


  • curriculum binder
  • 3 rocks (metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary)
  • 3 station stands (metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary)
  • 5 "Mineral" cards
  • 24 cards with theme song lyrics
  • rock cycle role play diagram
  • Mineral Match guide
  • 5 sets of 8 minerals
  • 5 sets of 8 common objects (containing minerals)
  • 5 sets of aluminum nails
  • 5 sets of paper clips
  • 10 streak plates (5 black, 5 white)
  • 10 hand lenses
  • CD with Google Earth file
  • Sandyland map and 6 sand samples
  • 6 parachutes
  • Sandyland clue cards
  • Sieves
  • 6 Trays
  • 6 Magnifiers
  • 6 Magnet pens
  • Books and Booklets: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rocks of the World" by John Farndon, "Eyewitness: Rocks and Minerals" by Dr. R.F. Symes and the staff of the Natural History Museum, London, "Kaleidoscope: Minerals" by Roy A. Gallant, "Kaleidoscope: Rocks" by Roy A Gallant
  • Videos and DVDs: "In the Ground: Geology, Tectonics, & Rocks" (Squibs by Ignite! Learning),


Geology Kit Activity

Rock Cycle Role Play: Sing along and act out the rock cycle to really understand how rocks change form.

Mineral Match: What mineral is in toothpaste? What mineral is in chalk? Learn to identify minerals and then match them with everyday products.

Google Earth Geology Field Trip: Make California geology come to life by going on a virtual field trip from the coast to the Sierras.

Sandyland: Determine the characteristics of sand to discover where it came from.

Cookie Mining: Minerals are nonrenewable resources. Learn about the process of mineral extraction and some of the environmental consequences.

California Science Content Standards

We are in the process of aligning the kits with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS connections will be posted here in the near future.

Grade Two

Earth Sciences

  • 3a. Students know how to compare the physical properties of different kinds of rocks and know that rock is composed of different combinations of minerals.

Investigation and Experimentation

  • 4f. Use magnifiers or microscopes to observe and draw descriptions of small objects or small features of objects

Grade Three

Investigation and Experimentation

  • 5b. Differentiate evidence from opinion and know that scientist do not rely on claims or conclusions unless they are backed by observations that can be confirmed
  • 5c. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements.
  • 5e. Collect data in an investigation and analyze those data to develop a logical conclusion.

Grade Four

Earth Sciences

  • 4a. Students know how to differentiate among igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks by referring to their properties and methods of formation (the rock cycle).
  • 4b. Students know how to identify common rock-forming minerals (including quartz, calcite, feldspar, mica, and hornblende) and ore minerals by using a table of diagnostic properties.
  • 5b. Students know natural processes, including freezing and thawing and the growth of roots, cause rocks to break down into smaller pieces.
  • 5c. Students know moving water erodes landforms, reshaping the land by taking it away from some places and depositing it as pebbles, sand, silt, and mud in other places (weathering, transport, and deposition).

Investigation and Experimentation

  • 6a. Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists’ explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations.
  • 6f. Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation.

Grade Five

Investigation and Experimentation

  • 6f. Select appropriate tools (e.g. thermometers, meter sticks, balances, and graduated cylinders) and make quantitative observations.
  • 6g. Record data by using appropriate graphic representations (including charts, graphs, and labeled diagrams) and make inferences based on those data.
  • 6h. Draw conclusions from scientific evidence and indicate whether further information is needed to support a specific conclusion.

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