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There's a reason New Hampshire is known as the Granite State. This place is full of rocks. But rocks have a far more interesting history and role in our society than you might think.

This virtual field trips travels around the state to learn more about the rocks of New Hampshire.

A graphic organizer helps students record what they learn from the video, which, when combined with the activity, tackles the question: When is a rock not just a rock?

The video is 18 minutes.

The Big Question

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    When is a rock not just a rock?

Before You Take Your Virtual Field Trip . . .


Take a closer look

Provide students with, or ask them to find, a small rock from the surrounding area (e.g. school grounds, a nearby park, or a hiking trail). Ask them to look as closely as possible at the rock, with or without a magnifying glass, and complete a Notice and Wonder t-chart. Share these observations and questions as a whole group.

Discuss the big question

Build upon the exploration of local rock specimens by asking students the big question: “When is a rock not just a rock?” Encourage students to think about the many ways that people make rocks more than just objects on the ground. Students may want to share stories of their own about rocks they know and love.

During Your Virtual Field Trip . . .

Organize facts and ideas

An optional graphic organizer is provided to help students identify and expand upon the three key ideas addressed during the trip. As they listen and watch, students can check off the key idea as they hear it mentioned. The chart below provides space for students to note supporting facts that relate to each idea. This graphic organizer could be used as part of a preview to the trip. It also works well as a review exercise after the trip and can be completed as a whole group or independently.

Travel Log

This graphic organizer helps students organize the information they learn in the virtual field trip.

After Your Virtual Field Trip . . .


What makes a rock…rock?

Provide students with the “Why Does that Rock…Rock?” worksheet. Explain that the short activity asks them to reflect about the rocks featured in the field trip. What happened to make that rock so special? Was it something that occurred naturally? Or did people alter the rock? Maybe a combination of both? Review responses together.

What makes a rock . . . a rock?

Want To Do More?


Go further with these extension activities

Design rock trading cards. There are so many notable rocks in New Hampshire. Build a class set of cards featuring illustrations, stats, and fascinating facts. Start with the rocks featured in the Virtual Field Trip and then support students as they research other examples of how New Hampshire “rocks”!

Write a rock story. Read or listen to “A Rock is Lively,” by Dianna Hutts Aston. Then, take a walk to, or show students a picture of a notable local rock. (Look for an unexpected boulder left in a field or near a housing development, or a rock of unusual color or shape.) Ask students to write the rock’s story. They may imagine how the surrounding land has changed around the rock, or identify a purpose for the rock that will impact people.

Experiment with glacial erosion. New Hampshire’s landscape was completely transformed thousands of years ago by glacial movement. The resulting erosion cut ravines, rounded off mountain tops, and scattered the land with glacial erratics and drumlins. Give students a hands-on sense of the power of ice with the glacial erosion experiment in Lesson 1.3 “New Hampshire’s Land” in Unit 1: New Hampshire Geography.