The Life Cycle of Our Crayon

An example of an “igneous” crayon

Today in science, you had an opportunity to simulate the rock cycle with your crayons.  For tonight’s post, due on Thursday, please write a story that incorporates all the stages of the rock cycle that occurred with your crayon.  Be specific to what happened at each phase.  Make sure you do your post first in a word processing program, editing it carefully for punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and grammar.  Make sure you use sequencing words in your writeup, example – first, second, next, etc.

I also would like to know what you thought of this investigation — did it help you understand the rock cycle


23 thoughts on “The Life Cycle of Our Crayon

  1. The floral-patterned paper bowl was in front of me, full of ground crayon. Admittedly, there were still big chunks, but who cares. Anyways, I got an aluminum muffin tin, filled the bottom of it with ground-up crayon, and put it in a bowl of hot water. After a few minutes, I prodded it with my plastic knife. The big chunks in my muffin tin weren’t melting. Maybe I hadn’t ground it up enough? Or maybe the water wasn’t hot enough? Or could it be that it just needed more time?
    I gave it a few more minutes, then tested the water with my fingers, It was only lukewarm, but had the unmistakable air of getting cooler by the second. But as my sedimentary crayon-rock was sort of melted, I took it out, and merely extracted the big chunks that weren’t melted yet. However, when I tried to remove it from its pan, my sedimentary rock fell apart completely.
    I had to do something about this. How could I do anything with a tin full of crumbly blue and brown crayon? But finally, I got instructions to wrap it up and step on it – after all, rocks can be formed from pressure as well as heat.
    The pressure didn’t do much to help. All it did was put the chunks a little bit further into the melted bottom crayon, not very sturdily. At last I just decided to turn it into an igneous rock – after all, how much can you do with a bad sedimentary rock?
    So I got a bowl full of boiling water, and waited for my rock to melt. It still wasn’t perfect, but it melted a little bit, especially when I drizzled it with hot water.
    So I ended up with a crumbly, chunky, blue-and-brown igneous rock. But it was better off than it had been to start with.

    • Yes, this did help me to understand the rock cycle.

  2. EC19: “The 2 crayons started lying in the crayon box. Then their first sight was Samuel passing the other crayons out. They wondered when they would be picked up and given to a kid. They ended up being passed out to me. They probably wondered why they couldn’t go to that pretty girl over there. They suddenly had the sensation of being tickled. They then noticed that they were being stripped to the bone (well they didn’t have bones, so I guess you could say stripped to the core.) and being broken up into bits. When the kids finally finished stripping them to the middle a teacher came up to pass out bowls of hot water. What were they doing to all of the innocent crayons! What did they do to the people! They all started melting. the boy’s yellow crayon was being over powered by the orange one! (not as in a fight but in color.) The malt of what used to be solid was now purely orange. They were then set to cool when they had a minimum of chunks in them. The kids were instructed to crush the the crayon mush with their feet. The crayons felt low to the ground (mostly because they were) and crumpled. Next the kids melted them again but fully, not so there would be chunks. After the heat the crayons felt as good as new. The only thing different is that they were different colors than before they had been melted, crushed, then melted again. Even the orange-yellow was the slightest bit lighter than the original orange crayon. Then they all lived happily ever after. The end.”
    This was the story of the crayons life and how it relates to the cycle of rocks and minerals. The 2 crayons represent minerals. The next stages of “murdering” the crayons were representing the rock cycle. The minerals slowly mix together and become a rock in this cycle. The only problem with this story is the last 2 sentences. “Then they all lived happily ever after. the end.” This is true with the “crayon cycle” but not with the rock cycle. The rocks continually melt, get compressed, and get melted again until they are nothing over 100,000 years. It is more like happily for never because of the small changes over each day. I really loved doing this project at school and I hope we can do it again in class.

  3. EC4: Today, we have a test for crayon. Everyone has two crayons, a small scraper. The teacher asked us to get 2 powder shaving crayons. Then, Ms. Erickson gave everyone some hot water, about one minute, the hot water immersion silver paper crayon powder slowly, melting, finally, completely melt. When the water cools, melted crayon powder tablets.

  4. Yesterday we learned about rocks by using crayons. First, I passed out two crayons to each student these represented igneous rocks. Next we had to take the wrappers off the crayons. Then we scraped the two crayons, and put the shavings in the tinfoil cup. The tinfoil cup was put in a bowl of hot water. Finally the shavings began to melt. Before they fully mixed together, we took the tinfoil out of the water. The wax now represented a sedimentary rock.
    To make the sedimentary crayon turn into a metamorphic crayon, we kept it warm and stepped on it. This crayon now looked chunky. Finally, we turned it back into an igneous crayon, by putting it back into the hot water and stirring it. It was now just one color. I thought this lesson was exciting, and it really motivated me.

  5. Today we have a crayon test. We have to get crayon 2 of them to make a sedimentary rock. We shave them down to sediment and then get hot water and melt them slightly then they dry. After that we make a metamorphic rock we melt the dried crayons all the way. Then we fold it up in a paper towel and put a lot of pressure on the melted crayon and opened it up and a igneous rock is there.

  6. Yesterday when we learned about the rocks I Ms.Erickson assigned us to make the life cycle of the crayon on paper but now i am typing it on the computer. When I first got my crayon i peeled the rapper and started to then i started to cut it with my knife. When it was in tiny pieces Ms. Erickson dumped hot water in a bowl and put my crayon into a small box and put it into the burning hot water. I took it out after ten seconds and folded it up and wrap it around it and stomped on it. When i pulled it out it was solid and brown. Then Ms. Erickson added more water and i put it in and mixed it until it had a solid color.I waited for it to dry. I had a lot of fun with this project and hope we do it agin.

  7. It all started off with sam passing out the crayons after that we started scraping away on the crayons to try to get shavings until our fingers and knuckles were soar [the whole point of this was to to show how a sedimentry rock turns into a metaoriphic rock then igneous] after that Mrs.Erickson came around with boiling hot water to melt our things half way when she came around she poured hot water into our bowls then we it boil a little. After that was done we applied pressure onto our scraping.when that part of the experiment was done our final part was to boil it all the way when Ms.Erickson came around to me i know i was done and this was going to look fantastic when i was finished so she poured the water on and i placed my squished paper on i watched it smoothen out then harden it was a cool process to see everything happen and it was fun.

  8. The story of Maroona and Blåis
    Maroona is a reddish brown crayon. Blåis is blue, and is named ‘blue ice’ in Norwegian. Somehow, through a crayon box, the two crayons were substituted as rocks, and put through the rock cycle.
    The first thing we torturous humans did to the crayons was to strip them and break the remaining bits into tiny sediment. That way we could take the slivers of Maroona and Blåis and melt them together in a silver waterproof cupcake tin that was floating in boiling water. When the crayons were soft enough to make a dent in, I took Maroona and Blåis out of the water in their tin, and wrapped them in paper towel and set gently on the floor. Then… Ouch!
    #%**@!#!! They were pressed down into the carpeted floor, being squashed flat with what seemed to be a shoe. After this unfortunate pain had receded, the compression was over and the two crayons were put in a new bowl of boiling water. The two – now pancake – liquefied messes were set out to be heated again (that was the last stage).

    This story was on crayons that were put through the three steps of the rock cycle: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The metamorphic stage was the getting squished, the igneous was the melting part, and the sedimentary part was the crayons getting whittled.

  9. Anne the Crayon was perfectly happy to get out of the dusty box where the ignorant crayon-creators thought they belonged. She was sore and peeved from being squished in the crayon box. They expected 64 crayons to fit perfectly in an old box without fighting pretend battles or rolling into one another. When the box suddenly opened, Anne the Crayon saw a bright light. She fell immediately backwards into the warm human’s hand with fright. Since the newly found light was extremely bright, she squeezed her eyes shut even though the room was too noisy to sleep.
    A tall woman at the end of the room was shouting instructions at the top of her lungs, but her mouth wasn’t moving with as much force as Anne expected. To the tiny crayon, any human voice sounded louder than it was supposed to be. Suddenly, Anne realized that her purple uniform was being peeled. Embarrassed, she covered her body when she saw a knife coming right after her. . . Those were the most painful moments of her life! She forgot about her loss of clothing and stared down at her shredded insides in a paper bowl. Anne guessed that this must be what a carrot feels like when it is being peeled. All Anne could think was “How dare those wretched humans stuff me in a box and chop me up!”
    To make matters worse, the humans left for nearly one hour. Anne was left lying across a bowl and staring at her chopped skin. Seeing a girl walk back into the room was awful enough, but after a few minutes of peace, boiling water was coming right toward Anne! After suffering through the shredding, Anne was not looking forward to being boiled when she heard the teacher say, “Next, you need to heat your crayon and transform it from a sedimentary rock into a metamorphic rock.”
    Now it made sense. Anne represented an igneous rock which had been painfully turned into a sedimentary rock and was about to be toasted into a metamorphic rock. Currently, she had to watch her insides melt, which wasn’t exactly a peaceful experience. After her insides were partially melted, they were mashed by a sneaker. Anne thought this was disrespectful. Wondering what was so interesting; she watched her insides dry.
    In what Anne heard was the final step, she watched her insides melt again, but this time fully. She cowered slightly at the sight, but when the girl took the liquid out, Anne realized this must be the end.
    The students had changed the crayon back to its “igneous” form. However, Anne the Crayon thought she didn’t look as fat as the girl’s model, but didn’t say so. The crayon looked wildly as her insides were shoved into a binder. She was relieved the process was finally complete.

    Today, we used crayons as a model to explain the Rock Cycle. First, a crayon representing igneous rock was shredded. The shredding represented the erosion of a rock into sediments. Second, we used a paper bowl to collect the crayon sediments. When the sediments were pressed together, we made sedimentary rock. Third, we added heat to the solid crayon shavings to melt them slightly. This change represented the transformation of sedimentary rock into metamorphic rock. Finally, the solid crayon shavings were heated to a liquid and cooled completely. This represented the change from metamorphic rock into igneous rock.
    I thought this experiment was a very helpful resource. It helped me visualize the changes that occur when one type of rock changes into another.

  10. EC13–In science: we were each handed two innocent crayons (I’ll call them igneous crayons). We were ordered to first peel their skin off and then murder these victims. It was a horribly unfortunate procedure. (Okay, fine, I’ll admit it: murdering the crayons was hilarious.) Here are the steps to murder a crayon: First, scrape most of its wax off (the long way, with a knife). Then, chop it up into small bits and place these bits into a tinfoil cupcake wrapper. Next, fill a bowl with boiling water (make sure it doesn’t scald you) and set your cupcake boat adrift. Once you’ve pushed it around a bit and it’s melted almost all the way, take it out. You should let it cool off, because once it has it’s officially a metamorphic crayon. To create a sedimentary crayon, just wrap the cupcake wrapper containing the metamorphic crayon in a paper towel and stomp it into the floor. Once you’ve unwrapped it from that, it’s sedimentary! To turn it back into an igneous crayon, simply boil some more water into a bowl and this time melt the wax all the way down until it’s smooth on top. When this is finished, you’ve successfully put two crayons through the rock cycle.
    This activity did help me understand the rock cycle. I’ve always heard about it, but I’ve never actually seen it happen.

  11. EC16: Today’s topic concerned the rock cycle. It was an exceedingly interesting experiment. Mrs. Erickson explained that we would be using crayons to represent the three types of rocks and how they are formed during the rock cycle. We were given the following materials: two crayons, a plastic knife, a popsicle stick, an aluminum foil cupcake wrapper, hot water, a bowl, and a plate. With these supplies, we carried out an experiment.
    First, we shaved the crayons into tiny fragments to symbolize the formation of sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock is made up of tiny particles (your crayon shavings). These particles are formed from the erosion (scraping the crayon) of a larger rock by wind and water. To make our crayon shavings turn into a sedimentary rock, we applied pressure to them.
    Second, we put our crayon shavings into a cupcake wrapper, and Mrs. Erickson poured hot water into our bowl. Then, we placed the cupcake wrapper into the bowl of hot water. When our “particles” were gelatinous, we took them out of the boiling water and placed them on the table. Before our crayons cooled, we shaped them to represent metamorphic rock.
    Third, to make an igneous rock, we took our “metamorphic rock” and placed it back in our cupcake wrapper. Mrs. Erickson poured some more hot water into our bowl. This time, we placed our cupcake wrapper into the hot water and let our crayon turn into a liquid. Then, we waited for the liquid crayon to cool and harden. This completed the cycle and gave us another “igneous rock.”
    Not all experiments are exciting. Having CCHS students come to Thoreau Elementary was quite an experience. The experiment was a perfect example of the rock cycle. Using crayons, it showed an igneous rock traveling through the rock cycle in all its different forms. It was a fun way to learn about the rock cycle without sitting in front of a textbook. I cannot wait to see what other experiments you have in store!

  12. EC5
    I started out with two crayons, a tinfoil cupcake holder, a plastic knife, a popsicle stick, a paper plate, and a paper bowl. We peeled the paper off the crayons and shredded them onto the plate with our knives. We poured the crayon shavings in the bowl, made sure it was enough, and then we put it into the tin foil cupcake holder.
    We poured hot water into our bowl and put our tin foil cupcake holder with crayon shavings in the hot water. We left it in there just long enough for the wax to melt a little. This represented the molten rock. After it melted, we let the crayon shavings harden. This was the igneous stage.
    Once it hardened, we flattened the cupcake holder and wrapped it in a paper towel. We stepped on it to flatten it even more. We opened it back up and placed it in hot water again. We let it melt again back into molten rock.
    This investigation helped me understand the process—kind of. I am still having a hard time remembering the different rock stages. I had to go back and re-look at the different stages to remember.

  13. The crayons started in a box next we got two and made small shavings. The second step was to put the shavings in a tinfoil cupcake holder and floated it in hot water. After that we let the melted crayon dry and then we applied pressure and then we got a metamorphic rock. Last but not least we made an igneous rock/crayon by melting it completely and letting it cool.

  14. My crayon life cycle began with shaving two crayons. It took a lot of time to make the tiny pieces. Once I had the shavings I put them into a foil baking cup and then the cup was put into a bowl hot water. The shavings melted and the two colors turned into liquid. Next we took out the cup and put pressure on the liquid. It hardened and made a square shape. I melted my new square and it looked different. The colors got darker and the texture was smoother. I thought it was a fun experiment because it was interesting to see how the crayon went through the stages of the rock cycle. I think this activity would be fun for your class next year.

  15. EC:2The crayon’s life cycle started from shaving the crayon with a plastic knife. Next you scrape the shavings off of a plate into a cupcake foil. Third you pour boiling water into a bowl and place the cupcake foil into the boiling water. Next you let the crayon melt halfway then you take it out and let it dry. This represents igneous rock. Once it is dry you wrap the foil around it, wrap it in a paper towel, and stomp on it. Next you dump out the old water and poor in boiling water to the bowl. Place the foil unwrapped in the water. Let it melt all the way take it out, this is to represent metamorphic rock.

    * Yes I like this activity.

  16. EC:3

    Once upon a time two crayons had happy lives. Then one day they were passed out to a kid named Connor, he had instructions to shred the two crayons to bits. He followed the instructions to shred them. Next he had to partially melt them and let them cool. The two crayons melted a bit and cold together to for a metamorphic crayon (sort of). After that it was stepped on. Now it was the metamorphic crayon!! Connor now had to melt it. And he melted it and let it cool; now it was the igneous crayon!!

  17. EC18: Today we demonstrated how to do the rock cycle with 2 crayons. The class observed that the crayon would represent an igneous rock. We were first instructed by a hand-out sheet to shred the “igneous rock” with a plastic knife. So we gripped our tiny crayons and and sliced them from the top to the bottom. But it wasn’t easy. The fact that the wax was quite hard played a part and the fact that the knives were plastic of all things didn’t help either. Thankfully though, the majority of us finished in under 25 minutes. Then we were told to put the “sediments” in a paper-ish-tin cupcake holder and place that in a bowl of scalding water. As we glued our eyes to the shreds in the tiny gray/silver cup floating in the paper bowl, we began to see it melt. At first it was very gradual, but sped up quickly. Soon, Mrs. Erickson told us it was time for the next step because we only had to melt three quarters of the sediments. Next we had to let the “metamorphic” rock cool. The next part was fun: we folded the tin, wrapped it in a paper towel and… stamped on it! We then took our rocks back to our desks and unfolded the tin wrapper. The rock was flat as a pancake. Back into the water it went to turn it back into igneous. We reshaped the tin so it was reasonably round and lightly dropped it into the water. It took longer to melt it this time bacuse it was more solid and bigger. Eventually it finished and we took it out to let it cool. And there you have it! A demonstration of how the rock cycle happens. If you try this at home, don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t shred easy enough or doesn’t melt fast enough. Remember this: the rock cycle just doen’t happen over night!

    • Wow. I loved your description of this assignment! You created such a vivid picture of the exercise, it was so easy to imagine myself there with you. You’re a wonderful write, Georgie.

  18. EC22: The crayon experiments taught me about the three different rock types in the rock cycle. When we shaved the crayons and then melted the pieces a little bit to make them soft, we made a metamorphic crayon. Then we made a sedimentary crayon by taking shavings and stepping on them so that they squish together. We made an igneous crayon by melting the shavings a lot so then it looked sort of like a candle. This helped me learn how heat, pressure and weather can change rocks but it takes a long time in real life.

  19. Mrs.Erickson passed me bright red and green crayons, she she told me to take the paper off of them as she got me a paper plate and a plastic knife. We had a certain way to hold them at our table, it made our crayons shred quicker. Once we were done shredding our crayons, we folded the tin cup and wrapped in paper towel and squished it with our feet, and then you have a sedimentary rock. After, to make metamorphic rock you take take off the paper towel and unfold the tin cup then put it on boiling hot water and it should turn into a metamorphic rock when it turns into a waxy feel and cools off. Then to make a igneous rock you let the metamorphic rock cool and then put it back in the water and wait until it cools of and you feel a smooth liquid form. I loved this activity and wish we could do a similar thing like that again.

  20. First, I take ordinary crayons. Then, I take a knife and scrape the crayons with the knife until they become shavings. Then, I put the shavings in a muffin wrapper and put it in hot water until it hardens in to a sedimentary rock. Second, I fold the wrapper, cover it with a dry paper towel, then, I put it on the ground and step on it. Third, when I unfolded it broke apart and changed into a sedimentary rock. Fourth, put it back into the hot water ( I needed new hot water) and I let it melt. Finally, it’s done melting and I take it out and it was a metamorphic rock.

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