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Rock Characteristics

In this worksheet, students will be looking at the different characteristics of rock.

'Rock Characteristics' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Rocks

Curriculum subtopic:   Different Types of Rocks

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know - the Earth is a rocky planet?  All of its surface is covered by rock. You may not always be able to see the rock; it might be hidden beneath a layer of soil or beneath the water of an ocean, but dig down far enough and it is there.

 

Mountains

 

We can particularly see evidence of the rocky Earth where great mountains push up into the sky.

 

There are many types of rock. They are not all the same.

 

Use this worksheet to test what you know about rocks.

What is it that forms the surface of the Earth?

water and ice

metals

rock

plants

Limestone is a type of rock that is often used for building.  It is made up of lots of different types of rock.

 

It is PERMEABLE to water (lets water through it) and is quite soluble in water - which means it erodes over time by rain and water contact.

 

Which characteristic do you think makes it a good building material?

 

Limestone

it wears away easily

it is easy to carve

it is very heavy

it can be painted easily

Can you remember what word is used to describe a type of rock that doesn't let water pass through it?

magnetic

hard

impermeable

plastic

Here is a picture of granite:

 

Granite

 

Which ONE of these descriptions is NOT true of granite?  Do you know?

it sparkles

it is soft to the touch

it is often used for building

it is very hard-wearing

Imagine you have two rocks.

 

Rock A can be scratched by a steel knife. Rock B can scratch the knife.

 

So, which rock do you think is harder?

Rock A

Rock B

Here is a rock called pumice - it was formed in a volcano.

 

Pumice

 

What do you think might be unusual about pumice?

it is very rare

it is used to make computers

it is very heavy

it floats

Here are some of the characteristics or three rocks: MUDSTONE, MARBLE AND CHALK.

 

StoneMarbleChalk

 

MUDSTONE = is easily scratched with a knife; water runs off it

MARBLE = doesn't get scratched with a knife; water runs off it

CHALK = is easily scratched with a knife; water soaks into it

 

Look at the evidence above and pick the rock from the list that is HARD.

mudstone

marble

chalk

Here are those three rocks again: MUDSTONE, MARBLE AND CHALK.

 

StoneMarbleChalk

 

MUDSTONE = is easily scratched with a knife; water runs off it

MARBLE = doesn't get scratched with a knife; water runs off it

CHALK = is easily scratched with a knife; water soaks into it

 

Now look at the evidence above and pick the rock from the list that is PERMEABLE.

mudstone

marble

chalk

Now let's join Kelly who is investigating some rocks.

 

This is what she has found out:

 

ROCK CAN IT BE SCRATCHED? DOES WATER SOAK IN? WHAT COLOUR IS IT?
Flint No No Black
Chalk Yes Yes White
Marble No No White
Quartz No No White

 

Look at the evidence in the table.  Tick the names of any rocks which are HARD.

flint

chalk

marble

quartz

Here are Kelly's results again:

 

ROCK CAN IT BE SCRATCHED? DOES WATER SOAK IN? WHAT COLOUR IS IT?
Flint No No Black
Chalk Yes Yes White
Marble No No White
Quartz No No White

 

Using the evidence in the table she sorted her rocks into two groups:

 

GROUP 1 = Marble, chalk, quartz

GROUP 2 = Flint

 

Pick which characteristic of the rocks she used to put them into those groups.

whether it could be scratched

whether water soaked in

what colour it was

  • Question 1

What is it that forms the surface of the Earth?

CORRECT ANSWER
rock
EDDIE SAYS
The Earth's surface is formed from lots of different types of rock - you can especially see that when you look at cliffs or mountains.
  • Question 2

Limestone is a type of rock that is often used for building.  It is made up of lots of different types of rock.

 

It is PERMEABLE to water (lets water through it) and is quite soluble in water - which means it erodes over time by rain and water contact.

 

Which characteristic do you think makes it a good building material?

 

Limestone

CORRECT ANSWER
it is easy to carve
EDDIE SAYS
Limestone is a very common rock that is easy to work with. You will find limestone being used in buildings all over the place.
  • Question 3

Can you remember what word is used to describe a type of rock that doesn't let water pass through it?

CORRECT ANSWER
impermeable
EDDIE SAYS
If a rock let's water through (like chalk) we say that it is PERMEABLE. If it doesn't, and water just runs off the surface, then it is IMPERMABLE (like granite).
  • Question 4

Here is a picture of granite:

 

Granite

 

Which ONE of these descriptions is NOT true of granite?  Do you know?

CORRECT ANSWER
it is soft to the touch
EDDIE SAYS
Granite is a very hard rock that was formed inside volcanoes - it is often used for things like steps which need to last a long time and not wear down.
  • Question 5

Imagine you have two rocks.

 

Rock A can be scratched by a steel knife. Rock B can scratch the knife.

 

So, which rock do you think is harder?

CORRECT ANSWER
Rock B
EDDIE SAYS
Something can only be scratched by something else that is harder than it. Rock B would scratch Rock A.
  • Question 6

Here is a rock called pumice - it was formed in a volcano.

 

Pumice

 

What do you think might be unusual about pumice?

CORRECT ANSWER
it floats
EDDIE SAYS
Well, would you believe it - a floating rock! In fact, pumice is a type of volcanic rock that is very light because gas bubbles get trapped in it. That makes it light enough to float on water ... sometimes!
  • Question 7

Here are some of the characteristics or three rocks: MUDSTONE, MARBLE AND CHALK.

 

StoneMarbleChalk

 

MUDSTONE = is easily scratched with a knife; water runs off it

MARBLE = doesn't get scratched with a knife; water runs off it

CHALK = is easily scratched with a knife; water soaks into it

 

Look at the evidence above and pick the rock from the list that is HARD.

CORRECT ANSWER
marble
EDDIE SAYS
If a rock can easily be scratched with a knife, it must be soft. Only marble cannot be scratched, so it must be a hard rock.
  • Question 8

Here are those three rocks again: MUDSTONE, MARBLE AND CHALK.

 

StoneMarbleChalk

 

MUDSTONE = is easily scratched with a knife; water runs off it

MARBLE = doesn't get scratched with a knife; water runs off it

CHALK = is easily scratched with a knife; water soaks into it

 

Now look at the evidence above and pick the rock from the list that is PERMEABLE.

CORRECT ANSWER
chalk
EDDIE SAYS
If a rock allows water to soak into it, it must be permeable. The only rock on the list that does this is chalk.
  • Question 9

Now let's join Kelly who is investigating some rocks.

 

This is what she has found out:

 

ROCK CAN IT BE SCRATCHED? DOES WATER SOAK IN? WHAT COLOUR IS IT?
Flint No No Black
Chalk Yes Yes White
Marble No No White
Quartz No No White

 

Look at the evidence in the table.  Tick the names of any rocks which are HARD.

CORRECT ANSWER
flint
marble
quartz
EDDIE SAYS
Now, you may or may not have heard of flint or quartz, but it doesn't matter to the question, does it? All you have to do is to look at what Kelly found out and use that information to decide on what is true. None of flint, marble or quartz could be scratched - so they are all hard. Got it?
  • Question 10

Here are Kelly's results again:

 

ROCK CAN IT BE SCRATCHED? DOES WATER SOAK IN? WHAT COLOUR IS IT?
Flint No No Black
Chalk Yes Yes White
Marble No No White
Quartz No No White

 

Using the evidence in the table she sorted her rocks into two groups:

 

GROUP 1 = Marble, chalk, quartz

GROUP 2 = Flint

 

Pick which characteristic of the rocks she used to put them into those groups.

CORRECT ANSWER
what colour it was
EDDIE SAYS
You have to look carefully to decide why Kelly sorted her rocks like that. If quartz, chalk and marble are grouped together, the only thing they have in common is their colour - they are all white. Make sense?
---- OR ----

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