Geology Activities
Creating Gneiss

These geology activities create gneiss, a high-grade metamorphic rock that forms during regional metamorphism when continents collide. The rocks caught between the two colliding continents are squeezed together under great pressure. The compression of the rocks at the bottom of mountain ranges causes minerals to recrystallize without melting.

The minerals in the rocks that recrystallize form layers of light and dark minerals. As the pressure from each side compresses the rocks further they create folds in the layers. Gneiss rocks often have folded layers that formed in the roots of great mountain chains during regional metamorphism.

Geology activities, Creating gneissCreating gneiss "nice" rocks

Materials

  • 3 or 4 sticks of different colored modeling clay
  • Dental floss
  • Flat smooth work surface

Directions

  1. Flatten each stick of clay out so it forms a thin layer.
  2. Stack the layers one on top of the other.
  3. Push the clay horizontally from each side toward the center creating folds in the clay.
  4. When the clay has been compressed take a piece of dental floss or thin string and cut it in half so the layers are exposed.
  5. You might cut other layers with the dental floss so you have a series of thin gneiss rocks.
  6. You can also make gneiss cookies with dark and light layers of sugar cookie dough for an edible rock treat.

More Links to Science Activities

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  • Earth Science Learn about planet Earth, Rock Cycle, Volcanoes and many more topics on this website.

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