Schoolyard Geology

SEEK Updated
Resource Types: 
Field Trip/Tour
Web Site

Teachers can take field trips exploring their own schoolyards which include many geologic features. The US Geological Survey Schoolyard Geology website suggests several ways to explore schoolyard geology, including mapping the schoolyard. This website is filled with activities and examples to turn a schoolyard into a rich geologic experience.

The main purpose of this web site is to introduce teachers to the geologic features on their own schoolyard. We hope to open their eyes to the possibilities for teaching geology to students in a familiar, easily accessible, and personally relevant setting.

The site includes three individual lessons:
Lesson 1 Mapping your Schoolyard
Practical experience in creating and using a map of your schoolyard. Also introduces an amazing resource of high resolution aerial photography available free on the web.

Lesson 2 Rock Stories: Describing Sedimentary Rocks
Learning how to describe rocks and use those descriptions to discover the geologic history of the rock.

Lesson 3 GeoSleuth Murder Mystery
Relates being a geologist to being a detective. Once trained, students explore their schoolyard searching for evidence of sequences of events just like geologists in the field. The site has images and explanations of features to look for on your schoolyard to introduce various topics in geology. Side-by-side comparisons of schoolyard and natural geologic features, along with activities for further exploration.

The lessons are completely independent but can work together as an effective sequence.

For more information visit

US Geological Survey
Topic Areas: 
Target Audience: 
Grades Pre K-12
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Library loan: 
Is training required?: 
Contact(s) or order information.: 
WWW Link: (Add http://):