Rock Types on Other Planets Lecture Tutorial

Jessica J. Smay, San Jose City College

Karen M. Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island

This material was originally created for On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Initial Publication Date: February 17, 2009 | Reviewed: December 10, 2020


Students work in pairs to complete this short worksheet strengthening their background knowledge of rock formation. After a brief set of questions about the rock types, students are given the geologic conditions found on different planets. Students must then predict the presence of the three different rock types on each planet.

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Learning Goals

Students will be able to predict the rock types that would be found on each planet, given the geologic conditions of that planet. Additional goals include the higher-order thinking skill of critical thinking and the skill of working in groups.

Context for Use

This activity can be used in an introductory physical geology course, an astronomy course, or a planetary geology course of any size with no special equipment necessary. Students should have a very basic understanding of the three different rock types. Students in groups complete this 10-15 minute Lecture Tutorial worksheet after a short lecture on the topic during class. Lecture Tutorials are most effective when used frequently in a course. Read more about how to use Lecture Tutorials

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips

For full discussion of how to use Lecture Tutorials, please check the Lecture Tutorials Main Page


Lecture Tutorial worksheets are designed to help student confront their misconceptions, but generally they are not graded. Selected questions are reviewed and answered by the instructor during class. Rather than grade the Lecture Tutorials, exam questions covering that material can be used as assessment.

References and Resources

For resources, please check the Lecture Tutorials References Page