With all the walking and climbing we have done, the boys have become interested in learning about rocks. To demonstrate the rock cycle to them, we used sugar cubes. This Sugar Cube Rock Cycle was a great way for them to see the rock cycle.
Sugar Cube Rock Cycle
First we looked at sedimentary rock. I placed two sugar cubes and the same amount of sugar onto the tray. We discussed how the ‘loose’ sugar (sediments) is compacted and this becomes sedimentary rock (sugar cubes).
This is a great video on Sedimentary Rocks.
Then we talked about the weathering of rocks. To demonstrate this, we used a mallet to crush the sugar cubes. You can use a hammer if you have one, we couldn’t find one in the van, the mallet was the best we could do.
Next we looked at erosion. We moved our weathered rocks into a frypan, giving the elusion that weathered rocks erode or ‘wear away’ into another place.
Next we looked at metamorphic rock. These rocks are formed by rock undergoing an extreme amount of heat and pressure. We heated our broken up sugar cubes, mixing with a wooden spoon.
Lastly, we talked about igneous rock. These rocks are formed by cooling magma. For this we tipped our metamorphic rock onto a plate to cool it. We watched how it changed into a hard rock.
Then we broke the igneous rock into pieces to demonstrate weathering again.
Note: Melting sugar smells, so be careful when you do this.
We also completed this Rock Printable Pack, which you can download by clicking the link below:
Some other great resources are:
- Starburst Rock Cycle Experiment
- Play dough Rock Cycle
- Crayon Rock Cycle
- Edible Rock Cycle
- Rock Buffet
- Rocks and Minerals Unit