lesson plan I've worked on is geared more for fourth-sixth graders
-- I got this idea from Tom Repine, who also works at the West Virginia
a mineral identification flow chart that helps kids see the process
of identifying minerals. Before I pass out the chart, I give them
some minerals (like quartz, barite, muscovite, and graphite) and
ask them to describe them.
few minutes, I write down the characteristics on the board (color
is usually the first thing that comes to mind). Then I give them
some more minerals that look a little bit like the minerals they
already have, like biotite, galena and magnetite, and tell them
that it's not so easy to tell the minerals apart now based on color.
try to get them to think of ways of classifying the minerals. They
should be able to come up with a few good classification schemes
and you can write the results on the board.
pass out the identification flow chart and some more similarly colored
minerals. It starts with metallic and non-metallic minerals and
breaks it down. At the bottom it lists the minerals in the kits
and some distinguishing characteristics of each to properly identify
of the demo is that geologists use a method to identify minerals
-- not just using color.