07 What is the rock cycle? 11-14 Working in groupsSelf assessmentPeer assessmentSharing objectives and criteriaQuestioningUsing feedbackUsing tests

A set of cards brings together ideas about sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks and the ways in which they are linked through the rock cycle. Students put the cards, which show different components of the cycle, in appropriate places to construct the whole cycle.

Learning objectives

Students will be able to:

  • construct the rock cycle.

Sequence of activities

Show the completed version of the rock cycle for a short time using an OHP or a data projector. Explain to the students that they are each going to become a Rock cycle expert.

Arrange the students into groups of three. Issue each group with a set of Rock cycle components cards, differentiated for high demand or low demand students, and a Rock cycle outline sheet, if required.

Circulate and encourage while each group builds a correctly annotated diagram of the rock cycle by putting the cards in the correct place. You may decide that they can consult their own work on this topic to help them.

When one group believes that they have completed the task:

  • check it
  • if it is correct, award them the title of Rock cycle expert.

Ask the ‘Rock cycle expert’ group to:

  • check the work of the next group to complete the task
  • if it is correct, award them the title of Rock cycle expert
  • if it is incorrect, devise questions to help them improve their cycle.

Give each new Rock cycle expert group the authority to:

  • check the rock cycles of ‘not yet Experts’
  • award Rock cycle expert titles
  • devise questions to help groups that are incorrect
  • pro-actively approach the non-expert groups remaining.
Organise a plenary in which the first Rock cycle expert demonstrate their rock cycle, using the presentation referred to below if projection facilities are available.

Assessment for learning commentary

Working in a small group gives students the chance to express their ideas while the element of competition to be the ‘first’ group focuses attention. The interaction between ‘expert groups’ and ‘not‑yet expert groups’ consolidates understanding and promotes self-esteem.

The plenary is an opportunity to ensure that all students recognise the standards aimed for.

Resources

For each group of three high demand students

Download Word Download PDF Rock cycle outline sheet
Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 1
Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 2

or for each group of three low demand students

Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 1
Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 2
Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 3
Download Word Download PDF Cards cut out from Rock cycle components sheet 4

Answers

Download Word Download PDF Download PowerPoint Rock cycle answers

Acknowledgement

ChemIT Presentation 55, the Royal Society of Chemistry available at www.ChemIT.co.uk (accessed October 2005).