Rocks and soils Year 3 – Medium term rock detectives plan

What's included?

Medium term plan PDF, and two resources (one PDF, one PowerPoint)

Key Stage



Year 3


In this six-week rocks and soils Year 3 unit from Primary Science Teaching Trust experts, pupils will compare and group together different kinds of rocks, developing their ‘working scientifically’ skills at the same time.

From becoming the owner of a pet rock, to going on a rock hunt, drawing a comic strip and making their own sedimentary rock, there are a variety of cross-curricular ideas here that will engage and excite the children in your class while learning about the physical properties of rock.

Rocks and soils Year 3 download contents

  • PDF medium-term plan
  • Worksheet
  • PowerPoint

Rocks and soils Year 3 learning objectives

  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks, using appropriate vocabulary, on the basis of their appearance (visual characteristics)
  • Make systematic and careful observations, gathering and recording data
  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their simple physical properties
  • Carry out simple investigations, gathering and recording data
  • Recognise that we use rocks in many different ways, depending on their properties
  • Observe how rocks change over time, eg on gravestones or an old building
  • Use secondary resources to research information
  • Begin to link rocks to the past and to the changes Earth has experienced
  • Recognise that we can classify rocks according to how they were formed
  • Retell the story of a pebble through a comic strip cartoon
  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
  • Use secondary sources to research the work of Mary Anning
  • Recognise that soils comprise rocks and organic matter
  • Use close observation to classify soils in a range of ways based on their appearance

Kulvinder Johal is a Primary Science Teaching Trust regional mentor for London and the south east of England. Carol Sampey is an area mentor for Wessex and South Wales. Follow Primary Science Teaching Trust on Twitter at @pstt_whyhow. Follow Kulvinder at @kulvinderj and Carol at @carolsampey. Browse more science medium-term plans.

Rocks and soils Year 3 – Medium term rock detectives plan

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