Geology Rocks: The Rock Cycle

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11103

The saying, "Solid as a rock" may not mean much when you see how rocks are constantly changing! This is part of the rock cycle, geology's recycling program. Study it with online tests and hot crayons!


Physical Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Can you explain what information is being displayed in the above image?

Throughout this series' Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, you have been studying, comparing, and identifying different types and classifications of rocks.

In today’s lesson, you will learn about the rock cycle.

Before you begin investigating the rock cycle, review what you know about igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Examine the characteristics of each rock pictured and determine whether it is igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic. If you are able, use the characteristics to determine specifically what type of rock it is (marble, granite, shale, etc.). Discuss your answer and reasoning with a teacher or parent:

rock samples

Understanding how rocks are formed, and being able to identify their characteristics, is key to understanding the rock cycle.

The rock cycle is a process that all rocks constantly undergo as they move and transform into different types of rocks and materials. Think of it as rocks being recycled and changed into other materials and rocks.

Look at the diagram from the beginning of this lesson again. The arrows show how temperature, pressure, weathering, and erosion play a role in changing rocks.

rock cycle

To learn more about the rock cycle, read Bitesize's The Rock Cycle. Make sure to scroll through all five pages so you do not miss any information.

Then, use Annenberg Learner’s The Rock Cycle Diagram to explore pictures, explanations, and videos about how the rock cycle works.

Why is the rock cycle important? The rock cycle plays a role in how the Earth changes inwardly and outwardly. Use the diagram above and explain the rock cycle to a parent or teacher.

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