Monday, 4 February 2008

The rock cycle in wax

Have you ever tried demonstrating the rock cycle processes using a candle? No? Well, here is your chance. Try out our latest, innovative Earthlearningidea. Click here for free download
This activity consolidates understanding of the abstract and potentially challenging concept of the rock cycle. Different rock cycle processes are demonstrated using a candle.
Please try this out with your pupils and let us have your thoughts and comments.

1 comment:

Jennifer Taylor said...

When teaching a low ability year 8 class the rock cycle I did a similar style practical using wax crayons. I was concentrating upon metamorphism but I think it could be extended to cover all of the rock cycle. Basically the students were given a square of aluminum foil (approx. 30cm by 30cm), a set of coloured wax crayons and a pencil sharpener. First they had to make a sedimentary rock by sharpening layers of different coloured wax crayons on to the centre of the foil(at least 3 different coloured layers). They then folded the foil and squash them with their hands - forming a sedimentary rock. To turn it into a metamorphic rock required more pressure and heat. So they had to stand on their foil packages (bare feet best because of the heat) for about 10minutes! Due to them being quite small it didnt work great, but a few students insisted on putting them inside their shoe and walking around with them in their all day! These worked much better, and the students could see that a change had occurred. It is quite a simple, fun practical to support metamorphism - but quite messy! It could be extended by slightly heating the sedimentary or metamorphic phase using a bunsen burner or something to induce melting -forming an igneous rock. (