Lunar and Planetary Institute






Rocks and Soils

In Texas, teachers are expected to use rocks and soils to teach scientific observation and comparison skills; they are also expected to teach the properties of rocks and soils and the processes that form them, and the rock cycle.

K.10 A The student is expected to observe and describe properties of rocks, soil, and water
1.10 B The student is expected to observe and describe differences in rocks and soil samples
3.11 B The student is expected to identify and record properties of soils such as color and texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of plants
4.11 A The student is expected to test properties of soils including texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support life
5.11 C The student is expected to identify past events that led to the formation of the Earth's renewable, non-renewable, and inexhaustible resources
5.12 B The student is expected to describe processes responsible for the formation of coal, oil, gas, and minerals
6.14 A The student is expected to summarize the rock cycle
8.12 A The student is expected to analyze and predict the sequence of events in the lunar and rock cycles

Note: this subject can be combined with both Earth-Moon comparisons and in planetary characteristics, by comparing the characteristics of rocks and soils from Earth with those identified on the Moon and Mars. For instance, one advanced method of analyzing the rock cycle on Earth is to compare it with the anticipated rock cycle on other planets or the Moon. The Moon has no plate tectonics and no wind or water erosion; Mars has wind erosion but no current water erosion and may lack plate tectonics.

Preliminary Concepts
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Misconceptions and Educational Research

Activities about the Rocks and Soils

Content Resources for the Pre-Service Educator

Potential Questions or Issues