STEM Tuesday — Geology- Book List

STEM Tuesday

Get ready to Rock Out! This month it’s all about Geology ~ and we dug up a bunch of great books to get you started.

Super Earth Encyclopedia: The Biggest, Highest, Most Extra Ordinary Features on Our Planet by, John Woodward DK/Smithsonian

With stunning photographs and illustrations, this is an impressive examination of the forces which shape the Earth. In addition to basic geology and the features they create such as, the Andes Mountain Range or the Great Blue Hole, it includes the geological effects of extreme weather and disasters. Each entry includes a “Stats and Facts” sidebar. A great browsable book for sparking interest in geology.


Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, And Even Dirt! by Steve Tomecek

A comprehensive book about geology beginning with the formation of our planet. Chapters cover minerals, earthquakes and volcanoes, plate tectonics, the rock cycle, old dead things (aka fossils) and the importance of soils. Next Gen STEM standards listed at the back.




Older Than Dirt  by Don Brown

Before dirt there was rock. Before rock there was magma. Before that there was – a BIG Bang! This book presents the history of our planet in graphic panels narrated by a couple of wise-cracking characters. They explain tectonic plates, terraforming through volcanic action and faults, and warn that geological activity continues to change the landscape.


Outdoor School: Rock, Fossil, and Shell Hunting: The Definitive Interactive Nature Guide, by Jennifer Swanson

Divided into sections on rocks and minerals, fossils, and shells, this book is designed to be used, not just as a guide, but as a detailed scientific log. Informative sections begin with very visual and easily accessible scientific descriptions, history, and classifications. They invite interactivity with graphs, charts, and “badge-like” places to record fun hands-on exercises, experiments, and discoveries. It also includes guides for storing and displaying collections and a check list of 101 possible achievements.


The Science Behind the Wonders of Earth: Cave Crystals, Balancing Rocks, and Snow Donuts by Amie Jane Leavitt

Explore some of the more unusual geologic features or events that scientists have discovered. Like a hot cave with gigantic crystals, huge boulders which scoot across Death Valley, and amazing land forms. It includes a glossary, resources, and critical thinking section.




Unearthing Fossils (Science Explorer) by Tamra B Orr

Follow two curious kids as they examine mammoth bones and try to figure out which skeleton they belong to. This book digs into how paleontologists collect and analyze data. Sidebars encourage readers to think like a scientist and use the scientific process to solve a mystery. Focused on Next Gen standards.



The Scientists Behind Earth’s Processes by Andrew Solway

An evaluation of twelve female and male scientists (1700’s to present day) whose theories and discoveries informed and influenced our knowledge of the Earth. From dating the Earth to climate changes, fossils to earthquakes, continental drift to mapping the ocean, and predicting the weather to exploring space. Includes an interactive timeline showing how they influenced and built off each other’s theories and a “find out more” section.


Activity Books:



Eyewitness Explorer: Rock and Fossil Hunter by Ben Morgan

Basic information on what rocks, minerals, and fossils are, different types of rock, and how to identify them. At least 30 activities, from making a volcano to making crystals and even how to make paints. Browsable with lots of sidebars and photos.




Geology Lab for Kids: 52 Projects to Explore Rocks, Gems, Geodes, Crystals, Fossils, and Other Wonders of the Earth’s Surface, by Garret Romaine

A hands-on study of geology in 12 units. Each unit focuses on a specific aspect of geology – crystals, sedimentary rocks, weathering, fossils, space rocks – through activities with a section on “the science behind the fun.”



A Project Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Earth Science Projects for Kids) by Claire O’Neal

Using common household or easily available materials, these15 geology experiments include recreating the rock cycle, examining weathering, identifying minerals, and creating a geode. It includes an extensive “further reading” section.



STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:


Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. She likes rocks – her favorite is pseudomorphic limonite – as well as bees, beetles, and other cool bugs that live in and around her gardens. Visit her at


Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at

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