In addition to the books we already have in our collection, we checked out over 20 more books about rocks to go along with our R is for Rocks theme. We do a lot of reading to go along with our themes, and I like to have a good amount of books in bins around for kids to look at.
Remember that books don’t just have to be in your library area.
Add some rock books to an art table with loose parts and rocks, so kids can use the images as inspiration for creating their own designs.
Set out some nonfiction books with a hand lens and a variety of rocks for kids to use at a science investigation table.
There were a few rock books that really stood out and grabbed the attention of my preschoolers. I’m including them in this list. At the end of the post you’ll also find a free printable book list that you can use to easily gather the books for your rock theme. Inside the freebie there is also a nonfiction writing activity that kids can do after learning a bit more about rocks.
Books about Rocks
Geology Rocks!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth is not a read aloud, but it is a wonderful resource. There are many activities to choose from. Some of them are appropriate for preschool, and others would be best to use with older kids. This is definitely a book that we will refer to again and again as we focus on different topics about rocks and geology in general. Some of my favorite activities that preschoolers would enjoy are:
- Using tweezers to excavate gold (chips) from Earth (a cookie)
- Making and comparing sugar glass and a sugar stick to learn about how rocks cool
- Creating a sandstone sculpture with three common ingredients
- Learning about how caves form with the candy caves experiment
Let’s Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans
Through photos, diagrams and other nonfiction text features in Let’s Go Rock Collecting kids learn about:
- basic rock formation
- the characteristics of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks
- the uses of rocks in the past (Roman roads, Egyptian pyramids) and the present (cement)
- and, finally, a bit about rock collecting.
Rocks and Minerals by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
The vivid images and easy to follow text in this easy reader make it excellent to use as a read aloud for enthusiastic junior geologists interested in learning more about rocks and minerals.
Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals by Steve Tomecek
Steve Tomecek is a geologist. In Rocks and Minerals he combines a bit of humor with a ton of clearly defined facts. Kids especially love learning about the different ways we use rocks and minerals.
If You Find a Rock tells about discovering different kinds of rocks but the classifications are different from the norm. Along the way kids are introduced to a chalk rock, a wishing rock, sifting rocks, a worry rock, a hiding rock, and more. Reading the book on its own may be a little abstract for younger preschoolers, but if you have a collection of rocks for them to hold and discuss then the book becomes a wonderful tool for learning and conversation. This is a great book to read before heading out on a nature walk. Since reading it my oldest daughter continually tells me what kind of rocks she is finding when we are out and about.
Roxaboxen is a personal favorite of mine. It tells of a special place across the road from a child’s home. It is a sand lot with old rocks and boxes , but over the years it becomes a cherished play space for the local kids. This is based on a true story. And it is a wonderful story that reminds me of the magic of childhood. We made the story come alive by collecting some small boxes, stones, marbles, and small Playmobil and Lego people. Then the kids had fun creating their own “Roxaboxen” in our sand box.
In Milo and the Magical Stones the main character lives on an island in the middle of the sea. There he discovers a magic, glowing stone. After making this discovery the reader gets to decide how the rest of the story goes as the story splits in two sections (pages are split into a top half and a bottom half). We read both versions to see how the choices the mice make impact everyone. Then the kids talked about which version they liked and why. We also talked about what lessons can be learned from the story. Older kids could also write their own endings to the story.
The main character in Everybody Needs a Rock shares ten very specific rules for finding a rock, not just any rock but that one special rock. This is a fun story to read before going out rock collecting.
Scavenger Scout: Rock Hound by Shelby Wilde
Scavenger Scout is a mix of reality with a giant dose of fantasy. As seven year old rock collector, Scavenger Scout, journeys to far off destinations to find rocks to add to her collection, kids will enjoy the I Spy like format and find a new rock on each page.
Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll by Jay Miletsky
This delightful story is a wonderful way address compassion, friendship, and inclusive behavior during your rock theme. Ricky can’t roll the the rest of his rock friends, but with a little creative thinking his friends join together to help him. The story also give teachers the opportunity to discuss determination and perseverance.
Related book list: Books About Friendship
Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst
Rocks in His Head is a story about sticking to your passions more than it is a story about rocks. Young kids connect with the rock collectors enthusiasm and will benefit from this reminder to followe their hearts.
If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk
This discovered alphabet book includes pictures made with rocks found near the author’s home. Read it first as part of literacy time. Then place the book out in your loose parts play center or art area with rocks so kids can be inspired to create their own rock pictures.
Rhoda’s Rock Hunt by Molly Beth Griffin
While out on a long hike Rhoda can’t resist collecting rock and rock. As she does she places them in her hiking pack, making it heavier and heavier. On the last day of the hike they arrive on a beach covered with even more rocks, and Rhoda has to decide what to do with all of her rock treasures.
A Rock Can Be… by Laura Purdie Salas
With rhyming text the author introduces kids to many things a rock can be. The beautiful illustrations and use of synonyms and adjectives inspire a lot of rich conversations that will help strengthen oral vocabulary.
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
Stick and Stone is another read aloud that helps tie in discussions about what it means to be a good friend and inclusivity. Simple rhyming texts also allows you to incoprorate phonemic awareness and rhyming during your circle time discussions.
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin
Any child who has been begging for a pet will be able to relate to this story. On her birthday instead of a cat or dog, Charlotte’s parents give her a pet rock, but that doesn’t keep Charlotte from embracing her new pet. Kids appreciate the silliness of the book and also get the chance to talk about making the best of a situation. They also delight in the surprise at the end.
There were also a few books that I wanted to include. The books in the widget below might be useful if:
1) You have a preschooler who is particularly intrigued by rocks and wants to know more.
2) You are teaching kids of different ages and want to study the same theme at the same time.
3) You like to have extra books on hand to help research questions that come up during your theme. (I like to be able to show the kids how to find the answer to a question they ask.)
Do you know of any books about rocks that would be great for preschoolers?
You can find more activities and ideas for teaching kids about rocks on my Pinterest boards.
GET YOUR COPY OF THE BOOKS ABOUT ROCKS LIST AND ACTIVITY SHEET
Click the pink button below to get a free printable copy of the titles referenced in this book list and the Way We Use Rocks Response Sheet. Use the Rocks Book List as you gather your books, and use the writing activity with preschoolers and kindergarteners after you’ve read some of the book suggestions.
Get a full week of playful rock theme ideas!
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
In this set you’ll find tons of playful learning activities and these printables:
1)Rock Beginning Sound Sort Activity
2) Rock Concept of Word Sentence Strips
3) Rock Letter Matching Puzzles
4) Rock Number Cards
5) Dump Truck Rock Counting Mats for Numbers 1-10
6)Rock Spin and Add Game
7) Rock Story Sequencing Recording Sheet
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
More Resources for Little Book Lovers
The best way to encourage a love of reading is to provide kids with many opportunities to engage with a wide variety of books that are of interest to them. That’s why we share so many books lists on Fantastic Fun and Learning. We want to make it easy for you to find great books your kids will love. Over the years we’ve also discovered some helpful tools for connecting kids and books.
Digital libraries are one very handy way to do this. Epic! is one of our favorite online libraries. It’s full of over 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more for kids 12 and under…and it’s free for educators. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Book Boxes are another fun way to get kids excited about reading. What kid doesn’t love to get a special delivery in the mail?! The crew over at Bookroo finds the best little known books that you won’t already have in your library, and they send them to you each month. Take a peak inside a Bookroo Box here.
Book-Based Activities are also a lot of fun for kids. Jodie over at Growing Book by Book has saved us all a ton of time and created a full year of Book-Based Activity Calendars so that you can extend the fun with a special book each week.
Originally published March 2013.
Updated February 2019.