Test a your mineral samples for hardness and compare your findings to the standards. Use simple tools such as your fingernail, a copper penny, a porcelain tile, and a piece of glass (or a common nail). Directions are laid out simply and clearly for students to follow on their own without help. 

 

Whether or not you teach the Mohs hardness scale, this lab will introduce your students to a key characteristic of minerals: hardness. 

 

Use this to learn and reinforce answers to questions such as: 

❑ How do you test the hardness of minerals? 

❑ How do minerals compare in terms of hardness? 

❑ Why aren't rocks described in terms of hardness?

 

Concepts Addressed

♦  Minerals are identified by color, streak, luster, hardness

♦  Minerals have specific physical properties (hardness, etc)

 

Standards Addressed

TEKS  6.6C

VA SOL ES.4.a

 

Materials Needed: Copper penny, common nail or glass plate, streak plate (porcelain tile), mineral samples

 

Teaching Time   About 30-40 min. 

 

Student Sheets   Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

 

Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

Rocks and Minerals: Investigate Mineral Hardness; Introduction to the Mohs scale

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    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

     

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