Science, Earth and Space Science
Grade 3- 5
Students will identify rock and mineral samples.
After reading The Story of Rocks (see the activity page link below) with or to the students, help them to identify the rock and mineral samples. Tell the students that they are going to test the rocks' and minerals' identification qualities or IQ and that they will be able to observe that each has a special composition. Tell them that they will do the same kind of tests that geologists do to identify and classify rocks and minerals. Give the children copies of the charts. Have them conduct the tests as described on the charts. Set up testing centers at different locations in the classroom and allow the students to rotate through the tests. You may choose to divide the students into groups of two or three if there are a large number of students in the class. The students will perform the following tests: hardness, color, luster, weight and appearance. Discuss the results of their testing when they are finished.
- copies of pages 57 and 58 (see the activity page link below)
- magnifying glasses
- a glass jar
- a paring knife
- five sets of rock samples that should include: talc, pumice, pyrite, quartzite, limestone, obsidian, magnetite (These sets can be purchased at most teaching, science, or book stores at a reasonable price. Students should also be allowed to collect rocks from outside or bring them from home.)