Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans
Rock vs. Mineral – Lesson #2

In Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans Lesson #2 students continue their visual assessment to distinguish between those rocks that appear to be made of one substance, vs. those that appear to have more than one. This leads to the distinctions that indicate the different types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Students come to the label for each type of rock only after they have worked with the specimens and determined the various qualities.

Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans #2 Direct Aims

  • To label the distinction between rock and mineral (rock: made of two or more minerals, mineral: made of single element or compound, same throughout)
  • To observe and draw conclusions about the visual distinctions between rocks and minerals.

Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans #2 Indirect Aims

  • To experience the three types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic

Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans #2 Materials Needed:

  1. A collection of rocks and minerals.
  2. Cards with descriptions for various minerals or rocks.
  3. Large shapes for grouping the various specimens.
  4. Magnifying glasses

Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans #2 The Lesson:

Today we’re going to look for specimens that fit certain descriptions that are written on these cards. They will help us learn the differences between rocks and minerals.

  • Pull out one shape and the card that reads: “Appears to be made of more than one substance.
  • Have students choose specimens that fit that description and place them inside the shape.

What do you think the different substances could be? (rocks, fossils, minerals)

  • Pull out another shape and the card that reads: “Appears to be made of only one substance.
  • Have students choose specimens that fit that description and place them inside the shape.

Do any of these specimens look like the substances in the first group? (Students should note the presence of quartz, microcline, feldspar, etc.)

The specimens in the second group are minerals. Minerals are made of just one substance and are the same throughout. If you cut them into pieces they would have exactly the same composition in each piece.

The first group is a group of rocks. Rocks are made of at least two substances. Sometimes the substances are tiny grains of sand. Sometimes they are fossils. Sometimes they are different minerals.

More Rock and Mineral Lesson Plans



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Igneous Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

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Rock Shops

Rock Links

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