the Rock Cycle Card Game

For players age 8 to adult.


2 - 6 players per deck



How It Works

Each deck is comprised of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary rock cards, in addition to Magma and Sediments cards. Blue cards represent each of the five processes that change one type to another. Cards are played in an order to simulate the cycle rocks go through in the real world.

The game is color coded to help students play the correct card at the right time. There are also several variations of the game that can be played, making the game flexible to the abilities of the players.


How to Play
Standard Game:

- Deal seven cards to each player.
- Put stack in middle face down (draw pile).
- Turn up one card (discard pile).
- First player must play the same kind of card (Sediment, Magma, Sedimentary, Igneous, or Metamorphic) or can change the kind being played with an appropriate blue card. For example, Melting can be used after Metamorphic, Igneous, or Sedimentary (since all these rocks can melt into magma), but cannot be used after Sediments or Magma (which both do not melt into magma). The color squares on each card help you to play the correct card. Note: If the first card down is a blue card, the first player must play a card of the same color as the square at the bottom of the card.
- As the card is put down, the player reads the card so that all players can hear. For example, if a Melting card is played, the player would say "Melting changes any rock into Magma.
- If a player does not have a card to play, he/she must pick one from the draw pile. Player may play that card if it is appropriate. If the card cannot be played, the player says "pass" and it is the next player's turn.
- Other players do the same thing.
- The first person to put down all of his/her cards wins.

Variation One:

- For easier play, a player may put a blue card on top of a blue card.

Variation Two:

- For a greater challenge, players try to get three cards of one kind (Sediment, Magma, Sedimentary, Igneous, or Metamorphic), three cards of a second kind, and a blue change card that links the two rock types. For example, a player would win with 3 Igneous cards, 3 Metamorphic cards, and 1 Heat and Pressure card. Another example is that a player would win with 3 Sedimentary cards, 3 Magma cards, and 1 Melting card.
- Deal seven cards to each player...
- Put stack in middle face down (draw pile).
- Turn up one card (discard pile).
- First player draws the top card from the draw pile or the discard pile. He/she then discards one card that is not wanted face up onto the discard pile.
- If the player has 3 of one kind, 3 of another kind, and the blue card that links them, he/she reads the cards as he/she lays them down and is the winner. If not, play goes to the next person.
- Continue in this manner until someone wins.
If all of the draw pile is used up before someone wins, take the cards from the discard pile and shuffle them. (Leave the top card so that you know what needs to be played next). Put the cards face down as the draw pile and continue to play.


The Rock Cycle

Scientists classify rocks into three types, depending on how they are formed. Igneous rocks develop when hot, liquid rock, found deep inside the earth, comes to the surface, cools and crystallizes into hard stone. Sedimentary rocks form when small rock particles such as gravel and sand, layer on top of each other. Over time, these layers are packed so tightly together that they become compacted and cemented together into sedimentary rock. Metamorphic rocks are formed when an igneous rock, a sedimentary rock, or even a metamorphic rock is changed into another rock because of the tremendous heat and pressure inside the earth. With extreme heat, rocks can melt into molten (liquid) rock called magma. They can also break apart into smaller particles, called sediments, such as gravel or sand, through the process of weathering. Sediments can then be carried away by erosion.

Rocks never stay the same though. The Earth is constantly changing. It may seem to us that a particular mountain will always be there. But over a very long period of time, the mountain will be worn away. Likewise, new mountains will form elsewhere as a result of earthquakes and volcanoes. To help us understand this whole process, scientists often refer to The Rock Cycle. Rock-On was developed to help you learn this important Earth cycle.


Rock Cycle Diagram