Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Rock On!

MAdele Carson
Santa Rosa District Schools


In making different types of candy and cookies, students will have models of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.


The student selects and uses the appropriate tool for situational measures (for example, measuring sticks, scales and balances, thermometers, measuring cups, gauges).

The student understands that heating or cooling of matter will speed up or slow down, respectively, the motion of the small particles within matter and that this is what causes a phase change.

The student understands the stages of the rock cycle.

The student knows that a model of something is different from the real thing, but can be used to learn something about the real thing.


-Request for materials and permission slip (food allergies)
-Adult volunteers
-Recipes for caramels, hard candy, macaroons, and a 7 layer cookie
-Hot plates (3)
-Heavy saucepans (3)
-Candy thermometers (3)
-Spatulas, spoons, measuring spoons and cups, bowls (3 of each)
-2 Cookie sheets and 1 large baking pans
-Electric mixer (1)
-Waxed paper, paper towels, and plates
-Copies of each recipe
-Ingredients for candy and cookies--see each recipe
-Access to oven for 30 minutes
-Writing paper and pencils


1. Obtain all materials, food allergy notices, and adult volunteers before cooking.
2. Have children assigned to specific areas and jobs.
3. Review safety rules.
4. If school cafeteria oven will be used, gain permission.


1. A week or so before the cooking, send permission slips (in case of students' food allergies) and request for materials and volunteers.

2. Have cooking utensils on hand and ready. If you have never made candy using a thermometer, you may want to have a volunteer who has!

3. Review the different types of rocks. Igneous is formed when hot lava cools quickly allowing air to stay in the rock. Sedimentary rock is formed from layers of sediment over time. Metamorphic rock is rock that has changed.

4. Ask students if they have ever made hard candy or caramel from scratch.

5. Using hard candy and caramel as examples, ask what makes the candy different and what does it have in common. Sugar is in all candy--hardness/softness and flavorings make candy different.

6. Assign students jobs to measure or cook with each group. Explain what each group will be making and ask what rock each recipe will represent.

7. During the cooking, ask for descriptions of the changes in the sugar (it melts and will change color) and changes in the thermometer (the temperature is rising).

8. Remember: the softer the candy, the shorter the cooking time.

9. The students should see the 7 different layers in the cookies before baking. Ask what the heat of the oven will do to the cookies. (It will become a solid layered cookie--slightly melted together.)

10. When all the candy and cookies are finished, divide into portions for each student.

11. Students will describe in writing why each sweet represents a different type of rock.


Students will write descriptions of the candy models of the three different rock types. They will explain what makes each type of candy representative of each rock.


Instead of written descriptions of the candy/rocks, have the students go to each teacher or staff member with a sample of each rock. They must explain what each -rock- represents in order to -pass-.

Web Links

Web supplement for Rock On!

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