Metamorphic Rocks Lab
Ann C. H. Hadley
Manchester Community College
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jul 8, 2008
Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications
Students describe rock characteristics and determine if a rock sample
is metamorphic. If it is, they determine the parent rock. If not, they
describe what it would change into as a metamorphic rock. The whole
class puts the group of 20 samples together as part of a large puzzle.
This is a lab for Introduction to Physical Geology.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students must have completed units and lab activities on the rock cycle
as well as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks for this activity
to be successful. It pulls together information from previous
How the activity is situated in the course
This activity is presented about 6 weeks into the course as a way for
students to understand the inter-related nature of the rock cycle and
Content/concepts goals for this activity
After completing this activity, students should be comfortable describing metamorphic features in hand samples. They should be able to link samples to metamorphic parent rocks or link a non-metamorphic rock to its metamorphic form.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Students utilize observation skills and keys. Then they go on to
utilize the information in critical thinking about the samples'
relationship to the rock cycle.
Other skills goals for this activity
After the students work individually or in pairs to describe their
samples, they work together as a lab group to match the non-metamorphic
samples to the metamorphic samples in a large rock cycle puzzle.
Description of the activity/assignment
Students each obtain 2 rock samples from a collection of 20 for the
lab. Students complete a data form for observations concerning
metamorphic features. Each student identifies the 2 samples and
describes the metamorphic parent rock. When everyone in the lab has
finished, the group matches all the non-metamorphic samples to the
metamorphic samples in a large rock cycle puzzle.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Students complete a data sheet for their samples. All students
participate in the rock cycle activity with the samples they have
identified. The group helps out in matching rocks in the activity.More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips