The Rock Stars
Characters: Girl, Rock Hound, Granny Granite, Sandy Sandstone, Nora Gneiss.
Props: Sign with the word “GNEISS”; sunglasses attached to back side of rock puppets
Girl Out you go, Howie, but remember, no digging for bones in the yard! (exits)
Rock Hound Bones? I’m not digging for bones. I’m a Rock Hound and I’m digging for rocks! (sniffs) I think there’s one here – I’ll just dig a tiny little hole… (Granite appears) And here’s a rock with nice speckles – gray, black, white…
Granny Granite Why thank you.
Hound Gee, I didn’t know rocks could talk.
Granite Well, when it comes to rocks, you should never take anything for granite.
Hound Oh, I get it! You’re a granite rock. What are these different colored speckles?
Granite They’re the different mineral crystals in me – like quartz and mica.
Hound Wow! A rock with real crystals!
Granite Sure. All minerals are crystals, and all rocks are made of minerals. They’re like raisins and nuts in a granola bar!
Hound But how did the minerals get inside?
Granite They didn’t get inside! They grew there while I was forming. You’re a rock hound, Howie. You should know that granite is an igneous rock.
Hound Guess I’m a bit ignorant about ig-nee, ig-nuh …what did you call it?
Granite Igneous! It means a rock formed from magma – you know, melted rock. Deep underground the temperature is so hot that solid rocks melt into a pool of magma.
Hound Wow! This is a hot topic!
Granite Sometimes the magma flows into spaces in the rocks and gets trapped there.
Hound Stuck between a rock and a hard place?
Granite Right, so it cools down, very slowly, over millions of years. Crystals grow from chemicals in the magma. The slower it cools, the bigger they grow until we’re, well, rock hard.
Hound What about when magma comes out of a volcano?
Granite Then it’s called lava. It becomes igneous rock too – but it cools so quickly, there isn’t time for big crystals to form.
Hound Wow! You mean rocks melt and then turn into new rocks. That’s ingenious!
Granite No – that’s igneous! But, I won’t be a rock much longer – because of erosion. I’ll get worn down into sand or tiny mineral grains in the soil.
Hound Not yet, Granny Granite! You’re too special. Come with me! (both exit, hound returns) Hmm, (sniffs) I bet there’s another rock here. I’ll just dig a tiny hole. (sandstone enters) Here’s a rock that’s rough as sandpaper.
Sammy Sandstone Oh boo hoo! Everyone thinks I’m rough, but I’m just made of sand grains, so I feel rough. I’m really very soft, and I crumble easily. (sniffs)
Hound Gee, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings! What kind of rock are you?
Sandstone I’m Sandy Sandstone and I’m a sedimentary rock. I’m made of sediments and it makes me very sedimental (sniffs).
Hound What are sediments?
Sandstone Sediments are tiny bits of rocks or sand, or even bits of broken shells.
Hound Then you’re not an igneous rock?
Sandstone No, I’m not igneous, but there are bits of igneous rocks in me – little bits of other rocks that got eroded.
Hound And minerals – like quartz or mica?
Sandstone Oh yes. Most sand grains are made of quartz, you know.
Hound How can sand grains turn into rock?
Sandstone Well, we got buried under tons and tons of other sediments. It was awful! All that weight pressed us closer, and the chemicals in the water cemented us together.
Hound A rock made from sand pressed and cemented together? That’s mi-rock-ulous!
Sandstone Yes, but I’ll probably get eroded back into sand. Or maybe I’ll get buried and turn into metamorphic rock! Oh boo hoo!
Hound Not yet, Sandy Sandstone! Come with me! (both exit, hound returns) I wonder what he meant by metamorphic? That’s what it’s called when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. But rocks?
Nora Gneiss Rocks like me! Nora Gneiss (pronounced “nice”). Metamorphic means I changed form. I was granite and now I’m gneiss.
Hound I try to be nice too.
Gneiss No, I mean I’m a rock called gneiss.
G-N-E-I-S-S, nice. (Hold up GNEISS sign.)
Hound That’s a hard way to spell nice! What made you change?
Gneiss Heat and pressure! I was buried deep under the ocean, and then I got in the way when two continents slid together!
Hound Heat and pressure? Did you melt?
Gneiss No, but some of my minerals changed shape and some turned into new minerals! Don’t you just love the new me?
Hound You are pretty gneiss! Well, do all metamorphic rocks look stripey like you?
Gneiss Oh no. We can look very different. It depends on what we were before, and how we got changed. I’m sure to change again.
Hound Not yet, Nora. You’re too nice the way you are. Come with me! (both exit)
Girl Here, boy. Oh, no! Look at the lawn! Howie! I can see you’ve been digging holes. This is not rocket science!
Hound No, it’s rock science! See my rock collection. (hold up three rock puppets)
Girl That pile of old rocks?
Hound You mean igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks! To a rock hound, these aren’t any old rocks, they’re Rock Stars! (flip puppets to show sunglasses)
Girl Howie, you’re impossible! But, I love you anyway. Come on, let’s fill in the holes.