Students explore the properties, uses, and origins of rocks and minerals. Throughout the unit, they investigate assorted stony specimens by observing, experimenting, and recording results. Students begin by creating rocks embedded with fossils and growing salt crystals to model minerals. Then, they practice geology by performing four standard field tests on ten mineral samples, for luster, hardness, true color, and the presence of calcium carbonate. The collected data show the distinguishing properties of each type and help students become expert identifiers. Students also explore the three ways rocks are made and infer the origins of the kit specimens. As on-site geologists, they collect samples and test findings in the field.
In the Delta Science Reader Rocks and Minerals, students read about the types, properties, and uses of various rocks and minerals. They learn how a minerals properties help with its identification. They also read about a pioneering geologist, Florence Bascom, and her contributions to the field of geology. Finally, students learn about fossils.
Click here to view the Teacher Preparation Video for this Delta Science Module.