Rock Cycle Mat, Waseca Biomes

Geology 6-12

Waseca Biomes Rock Cycle Mat with presentation notes

The study of the rock cycle is an important component to understand how the Earth was formed, and is in perpetual reshaping. Waseca Biomes offers a very attractive work on this geological concept. The materials are hands-on, visually appealing, and contains self-directed work.

This direct link to Waseca Biomes gives you $15 off on your purchase when you provide an email address.


The Rock Cycle Mat comes with a presentation guide. The set contains:

  • A large vinyl mat
  • 22 facts cards covering 4 processes with tray
  • 19 veneer Rock Cycle Mat arrows
  • 21 veneer pogs for the Rocks Chart
  • A rock chart with large tray
  • Grammar Labels with wooden box
Storage solution for the facts cards


Waseca Biomes offers 7 suggested presentations to introduce the rock cycle process. The facts file cards are introduced to children as starters and include:

  • Layers of the Earth (1st presentation)
  • Plate tectonics (2nd presentation)
  • Rock cycle (3rd presentation)
  • Parts of a Volcano (5th presentation)
Rock Cycle Mat materials

1st Presentation

If it is your first time presenting the materials, you would introduce the layers of the Earth using the facts cards. They are beautifully illustrated on quality cardstock paper, and contain valuable information on the layers (eg. Layers temperature, and thickness).

Front of fact card
Back of fact card

2nd Presentation

The next presentation would be on the plate tectonics using the facts cards. The illustrations keep the children captivated while you read. Children will eventually read them on the own. Again, these cards serve as keys to further research and discoveries.

3rd Presentation

The third lesson is the introduction of the Rock Cycle Mat with arrows (see below). The first time, you want to read the arrows with the children, and have them place them. They love to match the arrows to the mat by using the back of the card that contains the picture of where the arrows would fit. My learner is an independent reader, so she read the arrows, and placed them carefully on the mat. I could see she was relearning certain concepts. Repetition is key!

Rock Cycle Mat with scripted labels. Control on the back
Reading labels to match in the Rock Cycle Mat
Take a close look! There’s a label blending with the mat. It’s how you know that’s where it belongs (control for error)

4th Presentation

It was time to read the Rock Cycle facts cards, which she did. Meanwhile, our toddler took over the pogs, and matched them all. I guess we could call this team work.

Pog Matching. Even my 2 year old wants to do it!

5th-6th Presentations

The fifth presentation would be going over the Parts of a Volcano facts cards. The sixth presentation is about sorting igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic using the Rock charts and veneer pogs, which our toddler did. Because we are simply re-visiting the materials, we dove right into the seventh presentation, the grammar box.

7th presentation

Creating sentences with these labels is a great way to do informal assessment of the child’s understanding. You can see what concept has been well understood, and what has not. I caught some misconceptions while reading sentences. I was able to help rethink of the concept, and elicit the correct occurrences.

Grammar Labels with Parts of Speech

This time, we didn’t continue with labeling with grammar symbols, or writing down the sentences in our notebook, but that’s definitely something you should try. What a great way to keep the parts of speech alive!

Exploring potential nouns we could use to create coherent sentences

Finally, it would be great to acquire a collection of igneous, methamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. I labeled and stored ours in a lovely tea box. I also incorporated our puzzle on the Parts of a Volcano from Allison’s Montessori. The more choice, the merrier.

supplemental materials. Allison’s Montessori Parts of a Volcano puzzle. Collection of rocks, used on a different day.
Use manipulatives to understand the rock cycle processes

Ready for a lesson?


2 replies to “Rock Cycle Mat, Waseca Biomes

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