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Mineral Teaching Resources

I hear from a lot of teachers that teaching rocks and minerals is booooring (I beg to differ!)
I have two blog posts for you- this one with resources to help you teach minerals and a second to help you teach rocks.

Side note: I want to point out that there are topics we all don’t personally enjoy teaching  (for me, that is photosynthesis and cellular respiration). I’ve learned during times like these you need to fake it. If you act like you don’t enjoy the content, students won’t either.

Alright- here are some resources to help you teach minerals!

1. First off- what is a mineral? And what is the difference between a rock and a mineral? Here is a Youtube clip you can show your students. 


2. Want to introduce mineral crystal structure? If you have access to microscopes or hand lenses, have students observe salt in three different sizes- table salt, rock salt, and halite. Students will see that they have cubic cleavage no matter the size. This is a great lesson to do before you teach properties of minerals- let students uncover this property on their own.


3. Want to dive deeper into mineral crystal shapes? You can find FREE paper foldable mineral shapes here from Ellen McHenry’s basement workshop. You could also try having students build the 3D structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows. Yum!

4. If your school pays for a Gizmo account, they have a virtual mineral identification lab. It is great but not free.


5. Another fun idea- give students some minerals and have them figure out their names using this free chart from Suburban Science. It’s really easy to use (especially if they know how to read a codon chart from biology).

6. Teaching virtually or don’t have access to a mineral collection? Check out this virtual mineral box from Illinois Central College.


7. How do we use minerals (and rocks) in our every day lives? This industrial use card matching activity allows students to pair a mineral or rock with an industrial use card.

8. What is the difference between transparent, translucent, and opaque minerals? Here is an easy way to demonstrate the concept:

9. Interactive Diagram: This interactive diagram allows students to click and learn about properties of minerals. This is a great supplement to a lesson, or you can assign it to absent students. Following the activity there is a self-grading Google form quiz. 
10. This website has digital mining activities and a virtual mine field trip. 
Looking for lessons on rocks? Check out this blog post
​Rock on,

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Hi, I'm Becca!

I help busy science teachers get your prep back by providing you time saving lessons, labs, and resources.

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