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A Million Years in the Life of a Rock



A Million Years in the Life of a Rock
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.96

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary, magma, gravity, compacted, examine, increase, cement, life, crust, earth, current, layer, rock, form


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A Million Years in the Life of a Rock
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Let's examine the life of a rock. It might start out as magma deep below the earth's surface. The magma bubbles up through a crack in the crust. It cools and becomes an igneous rock. It just lies around on the earth's surface for a few thousand years.
 
2     Over the years, wind, water, and gravity slowly weather it away. Particles of its minerals are carried off into the nearby river. They are carried along by the current. Around the bend of the river, the current slows down. The particles are deposited on the bottom of the river bed.
 
3     Slowly, layer upon layer is built up. The deposits are compacted together to form a sedimentary rock. Or maybe the river dries up. The minerals between the large particles cement them together. Now it is a sedimentary rock on the earth's surface.
 
4     Over the next few thousand years, the sedimentary rock becomes buried farther below the surface. The heat and pressure around it increase. Over time, it changes into a metamorphic rock.
 
5     Deep below the surface, the metamorphic rock comes into contact with some magma. It melts; the magma erupts and cools. It becomes an igneous rock again.

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