It is that time of year when students begin registering for classes for next year. “Isn’t Geology all about rocks?” That is the question that gets asked more than any other. Rocks are certainly a significant portion of geology, but it is by no stretch of the imagination the only part of geology. The study of volcanoes, fossils, plate tectonics, glaciers, caves and geologic time are also significant topics within this field of study. The understanding of rocks and how they form explain details about the all of the topics listed above. They in general give us the history of how our unique planet has formed and changed over time. Hearing this question once again this year “Isn’t Geology all about rocks?” inspired me to participate in the social media meme.
Even within the topic of “rocks” there are so many categories that are vastly different from each other. Even people who really don’t like rocks are enticed by gems and minerals! At a minimum they like the fact that they can be made into beautiful jewelry! I like the fact that nature produces such beautiful samples without the need for carving or faceting into stones. The rutilated quartz pictured for Tinder is a perfect example. Teaching students about minerals is a great way to inform them about making purchases for class rings. What are the birthstones? Did you know that each month has more than one birthstone? Should you purchase a 10K, 14K or 18K band? What is the difference? Combining chemistry and geology is easy as well; what is an alloy? Check out my Geology worksheets in TpT.
Cairns are used for hikes that do not have a specific trail. Simply follow the path of stacked rocks and you will get to your destination. A favorite example is the hiking path to get to Delicate Arch in Utah. The path to this iconic location is, in large part, not obvious. The indistinct path is marked by these stacked rocks and the result is a spectacular view of this most amazing location. Outdoorsy people may not realize how much they like rocks as they gaze at and photograph all sorts of geologic wonders both large and small. How many people do you know who have a desktop photo that includes some form of rock in the background?
Teaching about rocks is so much more than that stereotypical statement “just rocks.” So many places around the world are home to some of the most visited geological locales. The Ultimate Geology Bucket List on my TpT site is an excellent way to introduce young adults to the amazing world of Geology. And it is so much more than Rocks!
This article was originally published at midnightstarsciencelessons.com.