Activity Overview

One thing students often find difficult is using new scientific vocabulary correctly and in the appropriate context. When starting a unit, it can be helpful to introduce them to all the new terminology and have them create visual vocabulary boards that define and illustrate each word. Having a visual example along with the definition can help students understand abstract concepts.

Suggested Rock Cycle Vocabulary

  • abrasion
  • accumulation
  • basalt
  • cementation
  • contraction
  • cooling
  • core
  • crumbling
  • crust
  • crystals
  • current
  • deformation
  • density
  • deposition
  • determines
  • directions
  • dissipated
  • dissolved
  • erosion
  • eruption
  • estuary
  • evaporation
  • formation
  • fossil fuels
  • fossils
  • igneous
  • lava
  • limestone
  • magma
  • mantle
  • marble
  • melted
  • metamorphic
  • minerals
  • plates
  • rivers
  • rock cycle
  • sediment
  • sedimentary
  • shiny
  • strata
  • thaws
  • transported
  • volcanoes
  • weathering

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Define and illustrate key vocabulary for rocks and weathering.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose five vocabulary words and type them in the title boxes.
  3. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and write it under the cell.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to give examples of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [SCI-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.
  • [SCI-4-ESS2-1] Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Science Vocabulary Assignment
Define, illustrate, or give examples of scientific key words.
33 Points
16 Points
0 Points
The vocabulary word is correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is awkward.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined.
The storyboard cell clearly illustrates the meaning of the vocabulary word.
The storyboard cell has clear examples of the key word.
The storyboard cell relates to the meaning of the vocabulary word, but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard cell has some unclear examples of the key word.
The storyboard cell does not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary word.
The storyboard cell does not have clear examples of the key word.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

Image Attributions
  • Glacier • Pat W. Sanders • License Attribution (
  • Lava flow • kevin1024 • License Attribution (
  • weathered • Simon_sees • License Attribution (
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