The Rock Cycle with Starburst Candy
This lesson is a sure-fire Winner! After all who wouldn’t enjoy learning about the rock cycle with some yummy Starburst Candy.
You will need:
3 Starburst Candies for each student. I suggest that the students have three different flavors but they can get by with two of one flavor and one of another. They will stack the unwrapped candies to create layers for a sedimentary rock. This is why they need the different flavors~so they can see the layers! We talk about how the layers of sedimentary rocks are formed.
Parchment Paper a piece for each student. You can use wax paper but your results will be better with parchment paper. The Starburst do not stick and they paper does not tear. I do not measure the paper I just pull it off the roll but you may measure if you want to. The students need enough paper to wrap the Starburst up (still stacked). I make sure the edges overlap. Then we give each end a twist like a peppermint wrapped in plastic. Another reason to use parchment paper…the ends stay closed!!
Toaster Oven to heat the candy packs in. I use a toaster oven because I can control the heat better. You will find recipes that use microwave ovens but you must be very careful due to the way microwaves heat. I place the candy packs in the toaster oven. I have had up to 30 packs in a small toaster oven. I just pile them on top each other. I cook them at 150 for 1-15 minutes. Then I remove them from the oven. The candy packs should be soft to the touch.
Here is a great video from StudyJams to watch about the Rock Cycle while your “rocks” are heating up. This activity works with NGSS in Earth’s Systems for second and fifth grades. I use it with fourth grade for the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science.
Time to enjoy the rocks. This is the time for pressure. The Starburst Rocks have heat…. now the students get to apply pressure! This is a fun part of the lesson maybe more fun than eating the “rocks”! The students love to press on the parchment paper packs and they can roll the Starburst Rock around in their hands. The candies begin to mix together like metamorphic rocks. Some students really stretch out the candies which leads to a discussion about igneous rocks. Truthfully it isn’t that sticky…don’t get me wrong you will have students that can make it crazy sticky. Just set the boundaries you need for your group.
One rule I have is: Once it is in your mouth….it stays in your mouth!!!
Rock Types will come alive with this lesson and your students will have learning hook for the Rock Cycle. I had one student tell me she never looks at Starburst Candy without thinking about our lesson.
You can do this! I have done it with 30 students at once. It is a memorable fun lab and it tastes yummy too.
Your students will love learning about the rock cycle with this activity.