Everybody Needs A Rock: Classifying & Sorting

August 30, 2008

We had the most wonderful afternoon of rock collecting. On the drive to the bay we read the book, Everybody Needs A Rock by Byrd Baylor. The story eloquently outlines the “rules” of finding just the right rock. With her advice lingering in our minds we combed the water’s edge for some special finds. It was a wonderful feeling to slow down enough to appreciate the intricacies of each little pebble.

When we returned home with all of our treasures we watched a couple of helpful videos to answer some of the questions that came up during our search (see links below). The girls also strengthened their skills in classifying and sorting by looking through our rock collection and brainstorming different categories for organizing the stones. I printed their list of attributes on labels and put them on blank index cards. Then we used the index cards to play a variety of sorting games. The level of focus and the length of the girls’ attention span during this experience was amazing!

Materials & Resources
Rock Cycle Video – National Geographic
Types of Rocks Video – Teacher Tube
Rocks Tell Stories – Smithsonian
Igneous Metamorphic Sedimentary Rock Gallery
Pretty Pebbles by Photographer Alicia Bock

 We sorted  our rocks by…



& Color



Mariah Bruehl is a parent, educator, and author of the book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder (Shambhala Publications, 2011). In 2008 Mariah brought her expertise online, creating the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal award-winning Web site Playful Learning. In 2011 she launched the Playful Learning Ecademy, which takes virtual-learning experiences to a new level by incorporating the best practices in education with engaging hands-on lessons, bringing parents and children together from all over the world into a unique, creative, community environment.


  1. Katie said on August 11, 2012 #

    I love love love this post! One of my girls is a rock collector! I can’t wait to find the book you mentioned and go out on a rock adventure with her!! Thank you!

  2. [...] on Shelves: Pebbles, Shells, Googly Eyes, Feathers, Bling, Nature Cut-Outs, [...]

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