Work through a series of questions to determine the identity of a rock or mineral sample. This is a fun way to expose kids to rock characteristics such as magnetism, luster, and streak color. This lab provides another exposure to dichotomous keys which are more typical in biology.

 

This rock identification key is designed to identify the following types of rocks and minerals: basalt, breccia, coal, conglomerate, copper, galena, gneiss, granite, halite, hematite, limestone, magnetite, marble, mica schist, obsidian, pumice, pyrite, quartz, sandstone, scoria, and slate. You don't need all of these types, but it's nice to have a variety so kids can compare different types. Rock identification is difficult even for experienced geologists... having a set of samples and a good rock key makes this process so much easier!!

 

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

❑ How can you tell similar rocks apart? 

❑ What are some characteristics that describe rocks and minerals? 

 

Concepts Addressed

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

♦  Minerals have specific physical properties (hardness, etc)

 

Standards Addressed

TEKS 6.10B, 6.6C

VA SOL ES.4.a, ES.5.a

 

Materials Needed: copy of dichotomous key (included) streak plate (porcelain tile), copper penny, glass plate or common nail, magnet, hand lens. a variety of rocks and minerals for testing (see list in above paragraph)

 

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 Identification: Dichotomous Key Lab

$3.00Price

    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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