Lesson Plan

Igneous Rocks with New Gen Science Standards (Can be used with any rock type)

Learn about the formation of Igneous Rocks
Dena G.
Classroom teacher
Tierra Bonita Elementary School
Poway, CA
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My Grades 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

Learn background about igneous rocks, specific to their formation and be able to showcase that learning through an screencast. 

This lesson directly relates to I New Generation Science Standard: 4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook and Background

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Students will be watching  a movie with a goal of figuring out one word to use to describe rocks.  The big idea here is that rocks change over time.  By discussing and getting background knowledge prior to starting the movie, students will be better prepared to begin to focus on a single type of rock: igneous.


Start a discussion about what students already know about rocks (They are hard, found in the ground, etc.).  Encourage any idea at all.  Explain that today they are going to learn a bit more and when they watch the movie, they need to decide on one single word to describe rocks.  Think of one word that stands out while they watch or captures something about all rocks.  


Show the Brainpop movie, “Types of Rocks.”  The movie includes igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary types.  You may choose to show the movie more than once.


2 Gathering big ideas

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Now have the students select their word and sketch a picture to capture that word.  Pictures can be computer based or on paper. The picture should also contain the word somewhere.  


You will create a Padlet wall for their words.  Make sure you have a clear way students will access the wall.


Have students post their word, and picture if possible, onto the Padlet wall.  Allow time for them to read through each other’s posts.  


See if “change” ends up being a common theme (or something similar). Point out that rocks go through many changes over time and that today they will be learning about one of the types of rocks: igneous.


3 Gathering Information

Select and share the Qlovi book, “What are Igneous Rocks?” by Molly Aloian.  It is a non-fiction books with a lot of detail. Have students read pages 1-14 (Pages 12-14 talk about what makes an igneous rock).

Within Qlovi, create a three question multiple-choice quiz for students to take.  Have one of the questions be specifically about how igneous are formed and explain the following activity (screencasting) to the students so they realize they will be focusing on how the rocks are formed. 

4 Presenting Learning

Using this screencasting app, have the students work together to create a short description of how igneous rocks are formed (Should be under 2:00 minutes)


Have partners begin with a storyboard to make sure they are capturing the information they want to before proceeding with the movie.

Conclude this lesson with showcasing some of the better movies that help show igneous rock formation.