Formation of Metamorphic Rocks

3rd - 6th Grade Textbook

Level 1 Metamorphic Rocks

L1 Metamorphic RocksL1 Metamorphic Rocks

Learn about the formation of metamorphic rocks in our Level 1 Metamorphic Rocks textbook. It includes information about metamorphic rock formation in each of the 12 lessons. These are some of the lesson titles included in the book: Foliated Rocks, Shale to Slate, Schist to Gneiss, Marble, Quartzite and Regional Metamorphism. Each lesson contains 2-3 pages of written material, a quiz and a kids science activity.

The textbooks are designed for upper elementary school students. Each textbook can be completed in one month by students who finish three lessons per week. A semester of Earth Science credit can be earned by students completing one of the Level 1 courses. Students wishing to earn a year of Earth Science credit should complete both Level 1 courses.

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Video Lessons

Myrna Martin introduces each lesson in the textbook on a video that can be purchased with our complete kits, packages and courses. Myrna covers not only the main points in the lesson she also includes extra information on the topic that is not contained in the written material.

Elementary Science Activities

The elementary science activities are fun and easy to do in this textbook. They also increase a student's understanding of the information taught in the lesson. Examples of the activities include: A Hot Time for Rocks, Flattening Minerals, Gneiss Rocks, Swinging Mobile and Three Clue Concentration. Each of these activities are designed to be created by students with materials commonly found around the home or in their neighborhood.


SE L1 Metamorphic Rocks Options

Student Edition eBook link
Level 1 Metamorphic Rocks textbook

Teacher Edition eBook link
Level 1 Metamorphic Rocks textbook

L1 Metamorphic Rocks teacher's books

Teacher’s Edition Textbooks

The teacher’s textbook is an exact copy of the student textbook. It includes the answers to the quizzes on each quiz page. A Teacher’s Notes page is located before each lesson with the following information

1. Lesson Content
2. Lesson Objectives
3. Activity information and materials needed
4. Vocabulary and definitions
5. Correlation with the National Science Standards


Formation of Metamorphic Rocks

The formation of metamorphic rocks occurs when continental plates collide. The colliding plates create extreme pressure on the edges of  continental plates. The pressure causes the rocks to recrystallize forming new rocks without melting. Igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and older metamorphic rocks can all recrystallize into new metamorphic rocks due to the heat and pressure of the colliding plates.

Contact metamorphism occurs when magma (molten rock) beneath volcanoes rises in the throat of a volcano or forms around large plutons that form in subduction zones. The metamorphic rock formation in contact zones creates layers around molten rock like the rind of an orange as the magma cools.

What is Slate?

Slate is a low-grade metamorphic rock. The formation of metamorphic rocks in sedimentary layers occurs when minerals recrystallize due to heat and pressure that is perpendicular to the sedimentary layers. The first minerals to form are thin layers of mica minerals that crystallize perpendicular to the pressure. Shale turns into slate when mica minerals are visible under a microscope.

What is Marble?

Marble is recrystallized carbonate limestone or dolostone formation of metamorphic rocks. Heat and pressure causes the minerals to recrystallize when hot magma is moving upward toward the vent of a volcano. The molten rock heats the rock layers and the calcite and dolostone turning the sedimentary rocks into marble a metamorphic rock. Colliding continents can also create marbles that are a higher grade because of the increased heat and pressure in these areas.

What is Gneiss?

Gneiss is a high-grade formation of metamorphic rocks that forms under extreme heat and pressure at the base of mountains where continental plates are colliding. Dark and light minerals that form in this rock migrate into bands of light and dark minerals that are visible to the naked eye.

Formation of Himalaya Mountains

The formation of metamorphic rocks occurs when two continental tectonic plates collide. The crustal plates form towering mountain ranges between the plates. The towering Himalaya Mountains continue to increase in height as the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate are forced closer together by tectonic plate movement.

Creating New Rocks from Older Rocks

The minerals in the rocks that were stable before the crustal plates collided become unstable as the heat and pressure increases and the formation of metamorphic rocks occurs. Minerals crystallize in the rocks that are stable at the high temperatures and pressures thus creating new metamorphic rocks from older rocks.

Igneous rocks form when the pressure is so extreme the rocks melt completely and later solidify into new igneous rocks. Migmatites form when rocks have partially melted in these conditions.


More Level 1 Earth Science Links

L1 Igneous Rocks

L1 Sedimentary Rocks

L1 Metamorphic Rocks

L1 Rock & Mineral Field Guide

Level 1 Course 1

Level 1 Textbooks

L1 Earth Science

L1 Rock Cycle

L1 Volcanoes

L1 Earthquakes

Level 1 Course 2

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