Wk.#6 – Rocks & Landforms

Week #6: Rocks & Landforms


  • Describe how the three classes of rocks are formed
  • Identify rock samples and describe their characteristics
  • Interpret models that show how the movement of the Earth’s crust produces mountains, earthquakes, and volcanoes
  • Identify examples of gradual and sudden changes in the Earth’s surface
  • Recognize evidence of weathering and erosion


  • Learners examined examples of rocks and discussed how they were formed. They then matched rock samples to their descriptions and observed properties of color, hardness, and luster.
  • Learners constructed a layered formation from slices of bread, representing layers of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock forms.
  • Learners manipulated their bread model to demonstrate examples of earthquakes and uplift mountains.
  • Learners observed the resulting layers with a core sample and a side cut.
  • Learners compared examples of mechanical and chemical weathering.
  • Learners observed how moving sediment settled into layers using a jar of different sized rock particles.
  • Learners used an ice cube as a model of glaciers as a means of changing the landscape.
  • Learners weathered a layered mountain model and observed the changes.  

Questions to Discuss

  • What are three ways that rocks can be broken down?
  • What is an example of a sudden change and a gradual change to rocks and landforms?
  • Which particles (sand or stones) travelled further from your mountain model when moved by water?
  • What forces have changed Alberta from a sea bed to plains and a mountain range? Which of those forces are still happening?

Things to Try at Home

  • Construct a model of a landform using a different material (for example – felt, cake, or LEGO). How will you represent the layers?
  • Create a rhyme, song, or cartoon strip to explain how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks are formed.
  • Look for examples of the changing Earth (mountains, earthquakes, volcanoes). Compare it to a map showing where the Earth’s plates meet. How would you describe the relationship between the plates and the land forms?
  • Investigate how geologists locate the best places to drill for oil or mine for coal. What makes Alberta such a rich source of fossil fuels like this?
  • Put together a photo collection of Alberta landforms (Horseshoe Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the Frank Slide, Glacier Falls, etc.). Look for examples of layering and how the layers have been broken up.

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