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Earth Science Journal Assignment: Rocks and Their Origins
Each tray contains twelve rock specimens. The names of the rocks are given at the bottom of the
page. There are four types of igneous rocks, four sedimentary, and four metamorphic. You
need to choose three rocks from each category for this lab. In your science journal, draw and
describe the rock specimens you have chosen. You will need about half of a page for each
specimen. Each drawing must be at least 10 cm (wide or long). Provide color where appropriate.
Display as much detail as possible, especially the appearance and arrangement of crystals or
mineral grains. If necessary, provide a microscopic view of a portion of the rock.
Include the following headings and information with each drawing:
Name of Rock: The names of the various specimens are listed at the bottom of this sheet.
Classification of Rock: (Igneous, Sedimentary, or Metamorphic)
Composition: What minerals and / or materials does this kind of rock contain?
Origin of Rock: This is a description of the original environment or event that formed the rock –
how and where it was made. The Rock Origins Key on the back of this sheet will help you
describe the origins of the various rock specimens.
Rock specimens in the collection:
(many of the specimens in your collection will have numbers on them)
1. Sandstone
2. Slate
3. Gneiss
4. Pumice
5. Basalt
6. Schist
7. Conglomerate
8. Andesite
9. Serpentine
10. Granite
11. Limestone
12. Shale
Rock Origins
Each of the rocks in the following list were formed by one of the processes described below.
1. Sandstone
2. Slate
3. Gneiss
4. Pumice
5. Basalt
6. Schist
7. Conglomerate
8. Andesite
9. Serpentine
10. Granite
11. Limestone
12. Shale
Formed on ocean floors when calcite comes out of sea water, or from the shells of sea creatures.
Formed by the compaction and cementation of sand-sized particles.
Formed when magma of intermediate composition cools rapidly on the surface.
Formed when shale is deeply buried and subjected to intense heat and pressure.
Formed when rocks (peridotite) from deep in the mantle beneath ocean crust are caught in the
collision between ocean and continental crust, and are eventually thrust up onto land.
Formed when thick (viscous), gas-filled magma is violently blasted out of a volcano.
Formed when magma rich in iron and magnesium cools rapidly on the surface.
Formed at the bottoms of lakes or oceans when fine particles of silt or mud are compressed and
cemented.
Formed when basalt or slate is deeply buried and subjected to intense heat and pressure.
Formed when silica-rich magma cools slowly underground.
Formed when gravel and pebble-sized sediments are compressed and cemented together.
Formed when granite is deeply buried and subjected to intense heat and pressure.