Geology Studies for Upper Elementary Students

Are you a fifth grade teacher in Virginia? Do you teach a geology unit to your students? This round up post has book recommendations, links and resources for geology studies that you don't want to miss. Check it out and pin for when the time is right.
Rocks may seem to be just a solid mass of material that we step on and overlook, but once students have knowledge of rock types and the rock cycle through the geology unit, they no longer ignore them. Kids love analyzing rocks!

In this post, I'll be sharing materials and ideas aligned with the fifth grade geology standards under SOL 5.7. The main concepts include rock types, the rock cycle, Earth's history and fossils, Earth's Layers and plate techtonics, weathering, erosion, and how human's can protect the environment.

Recommended Books:

Are you a fifth grade teacher in Virginia? Do you teach a geology unit to your students? This round up post for SOL 5.7 #rocksandminerals has book recommendations, links and resources for geology studies that you don't want to miss. Check it out and pin for when the time is right.One of the best ways to reach all students in your room is by using text sets at various reading levels. Often, science textbooks aren't geared to the reading levels of the students you are teaching, so it may be necessary to supplement with other reading options. We know with repeated reading, it increases the likelihood that students will remember the concepts. Here's a bibliography of books by topic to get you started.

Rock Types:

Rhoda's Rock Hunt by Mollie Beth Griffin
National Geographic Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Zoehfeld
Learning about Rocks by Mari Schuh

Rock Cycle:

The Rock Factory: The Story about the Rock Cycle by Jacqui Bailey
What is the Rock Cycle? by Natalie Hyde
Super Simple Rock Cycle Projects by Jessie Alkire


Rocks and Fossils by Anna Claybourne
Curious about Fossils by Kate Waters
Fossils Tell about Long Ago by Aliki 
If you're teaching a rocks and minerals unit, then this blog post is one not to miss. It's filled with lots of FREE teaching ideas and resources to make your planning easy and learning fun. Check it out and be sure to PIN FOR LATER.

Plate Techtonics:

Fault Lines and Tectonic Plates by Kathleen Reilly
Plate Tectonics by Julia Quinlan

Weathering and Erosion:

Weathering and Erosion by Maria Nelson
Erosion and Weathering (Rocks: The Hard Facts) by Willa Dee
Weathering and Erosion by Torrey Maloaf

Protecting the Environment:

What a Waste! by Jess French
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Recycle! A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons

Activities that Support Geology Studies:

As you're planning your science unit, be sure to check out this Pinterest board filled with links to FREE printables, experiment ideas, educational videos, and projects. You will find cross curricular materials that support reading, writing, math, and creativity with emphasis on PBL and STEAM for instruction, research, and assessment. Feel free to repin from the board to your own collection, and certainly, add the images from this post so you can come back when the time is right.

Resources from the Virginia is for Teachers Team:

This Earth Science bundle is aligned to SOL 5.7 and includes lots of materials to make your unit planning easy and fun. Check out this blog post for other great FREE activities too.

Earth Science Bundle by Glitter in Third

This digital resource from Glitter in Third addresses SOL5.7. It includes digital graphic organizers and foldables that you can use in combination with your other instructional materials to help your students with research and note taking. It also includes drag and drop labeling for assessment. $15.00
Studying geology? This all inclusive unit bundle is featured on this blog post for SOL 5.7 Rocks and Minerals. It includes FREE resources to make planning easy for you and fun for your students. Check it out to learn more.

Geology Unit by Vestal's 21st Century Classroom

From Vestal's 21st Century Classroom, check out this all inclusive unit has lesson plans, experiment ideas, center activities, word wall materials, a quiz and a test in digital for Google Slides TM and PDF. It addesses all standards under 5.7 including layers of the Earth, plate techtonics, rock types, the Rock Cycle, weathering and erosion. It sells for $14.00 
Are you teaching SOL 5.7 this year? This FUN partner play is one of many resources featured in this unit planning post on Virginia is for Teachers. It includes lots of FREE resource, teaching tips, and book suggestions. It's a MUST READ!

Rockin' the Rock Cycle Partner Play by Comprehension Connection

This FUN partner play from Comprehension Connection is great for integrating reading with your geology unit. This partner play works well for small group reading lessons and helps students who may need a little extra support review key concepts in SOL 5.7. The reading level is approximately 4th grade, and the set includes close reading activities for repeated reading and comprehension reinforcement. $3.00
Kids love task cards, and these geology task cards are featured in this round up blog post for SOL 5.7. Visit the post for lots of FREE resources, teaching tips, and unit ideas to make planning easy and learning fun.

Geology Task Cards by Vestal's 21st Century Classroom

Also from Vestal's 21st Century Classroom, you'll find this task card set of 28 question cards, 2 student response sheets, and an answer key. Questions are open-ended and fill in the blank. They make a great science center, SCOOT activity, or review game! Topics include the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics, types of rocks, the rock cycle, weathering, erosion, and deposition. This set sells for $3.00.
Close reading is an effect way to work content area studies into your reading block. This resource from The Techie Teacher is featured along with other free resources and teaching ideas for #rocksandminerals. Visit this post before you plan!

Geology Close Reading Sets by The Techie Teacher

Although Julie, The Techie Teacher, no longer lives in Virginia, she'll always be a VA Blogger! This set in her store is aligned with SOL 5.7 and offers another cross curricular option to support your science standards during the ELA block. There are four reading passages with comprehension questions. $3.50

Free Resources to Download:


Geology is a really fun unit to teach, and kids really do find more interest in rocks after the unit is complete. With emphasis on weathering and erosion as well as environmental studies, hopefully your students will also become good stewards for our planet too. Thanks for visiting, and if you have suggestions for this unit, please add them in the comments.

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