The extensive and detailed lesson introduces students to minerals, the differences between rocks and minerals, the composition of minerals, and information about common minerals and their uses. The lesson begins by defining mineral, elements, and compounds and how they differ from rocks. Then the four main characteristics of minerals are listed as well as their several physical properties. The chemical properties of minerals are also listed, including definitions for silicates, carbonates, oxides, and sulfates. Finally the lesson provides several examples of minerals with illustrations. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other geology-related lesson topics.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:
- Display several minerals or gemstones. Ask students what the substances have in common. Do not use the word minerals but ask students to describe them.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Display a few rocks and ask students to compare them to the minerals and ask: What is the same or different about each set of substances?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Once students understand one group is rocks and the other is minerals, again ask students if they can name some differences.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Minerals to the class.
- Distribute Minerals content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Distribute supplies and encourage students to be creative. Allow Internet access for images of minerals to be used as part of the poster, either printed or drawn onto the poster. The letters of the mineral may include information about the mineral, how it is used, formed, and other interesting facts.
- Once completed, students share their posters with each other or aloud as a presentation to the class.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
- Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
- In closing, ask students: Which mineral do you find most interesting and why?
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.9
Class Sessions (45 minutes): 3 class sessions
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