homeschool, STEM

Geology For Young Minds: A One Week Themed Unit

Geology is everywhere.  From digging our toes into the sand, to skipping pebbles across a pond, geology is something that has always just naturally called to us.  From sandcastles to mud pies our kids have a curious familiarity that will allow for a valuable learning experience.

This unit for preschool to young elementary will explore the Earth inside and out.  From layers, to volcanoes, to minerals and change this Geology primer will familiarize your young one to terms and concepts that will lay the path to more advanced learning in their future.

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Geology Vocabulary:

Geology:  the science that deals with the dynamics and physical history of the earth

Geologist: a scientist who studies the solid, liquid, and gaseous matter that constitutes the Earth

Learning Objectives: 

  • Label Earth’s Layers
  • What is geology?
  • What does a Geologist Do?

The Lesson:

Earth's LayersCan we dig through to the center of the Earth?  Using play, literature, and creativity the kids become familiar with the four layers that makeup the Earth.  The detailed lesson plan can be found here.

  • Sci Show YouTube Video
  • Below the crust observations
  • Simple Craft

Digging This Pin

Day 2: Exploring Volcanoes

Geology Vocabulary:

Magma: hot fluid material below the earth’s crust from which lava and other igneous rock is formed on cooling.

Fissures: A narrow opening produced by separation of parts

Learning Objectives:

  • Changes to Earth’s Surface; Volcanic Eruptions
  • Find evidence of Changes to the Earth’s Surface
  • How Do Rock Layers Form

The Lesson:

What are volcanoes and how are they formed?   What changes do they make to the Earth’s surface? Did you know that Hawaii was completely formed by lava of the two largest volcanoes in the world?!  With this lesson we dig deeper and explore more with fun videos, print outs, activities,and discussions. For the detailed lesson plan, click here.

  • Fun Volcano Lego video made my a kid!
  • Nat Geo Exploration of Hawaii
  • Free Worksheet
  • Build Your Own Volcano

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Day 3: Rocks and Minerals

Geology Vocabulary:

Minerals:  a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence

Rocks:  the solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth 

Periodic table:  a tabular display of the chemical elements

Learning Objectives:

  • How do rock layers form
  • Identify Minerals utilizing properties
  • Identify Rocks utilizing properties
  • Classify Rocks & Minerals by color, shape, & texture
  • Identify and Compare Properties of an object
  • Classify Rocks as Ingenious, Sedimentary, or Metamorphic

The Lesson:

What came first the rock, the mineral, or the chemical element??  This fun, and fascinating lesson will explain how minerals are formed, and how they in turn form rocks.  Break geodes, explore the periodic table, and watch some fun videos that will give your kids a confidence that will span from geology to chemistry!

  • Bill Nye Video
  • Sci Show Activity
  • Free Interactive Periodic Table Slide Demonstration

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Day 4: Weathering & Erosion

Geology Vocabulary:

Fossilization:  process by which a plant or animal becomes a fossil

Weathering:  wear away or change the appearance or texture of (something) by long exposure to the air

Erosion:  process in which earthen materials are worn away and transported by natural forces such as wind or water

Learning Objectives

  • Changes to Earth’s surface: erosion 
  •  Introduction to fossils 
  • Identify and classify fossils

The Lesson:

Over the week we have discussed a few different ways that the Earth’s surface changes.  Today we will hone in on that focus as well as adding to the concept.  This lesson will be done through videos, books, discussion, and the option of a couple of hands on activities.  For the full lesson plan please visit here.

  • Crash Course For Kids Video
  • Fossil Dig
  • Science Experiments

Further Ideas


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