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Rocks & Minerals Unit Study Resources

Beverly S. Krueger

 
  Rock Display

Websites

bullit MyJewelryBox.com's Guide To Rocks, Diamonds, and Minerals
A basic discussion of rocks, minerals, and diamonds followed by a listing of activities and information that could form the basis of a study of rocks and minerals.
bullit The Mineral Gallery
Site with many specimens for sale. Each specimen has a picture and description.
bullit

The Image
Has a mineral gallery and a gemstones gallery.

bullit

He Ain't Nothing But a Rockhound
Article written for kids about rock collecting. Download a rock hound crossword puzzle.

bullit Bob's Rock Shop
A good place to look for more in depth information about rock collecting.
bullit The Essential Guide to Rocks
Investigate Britain's rocky past with an interactive timeline animation covering 4600 million years of continental drift, fossil life and rocks. With field trips and experiments to try at home. Presented by the BBC.
bullit Rock Hounds
Includes information about rock hounding, animations of how the three types of rock are formed, and activities for learning about the different kinds of rock.
bullit "Rock"ology 101
Educational materials provided by the Rogers Group, a company that provides crushed stone, sand and gravel for highway construction.
bullit Rocks for Kids
Information on rock formation, rock identification, rock uses, and rock collecting.
bullit LR Ream Publishing
Back issues of the Mineral News and many other rock links.
bullit Building Stones of Our Nation's Capital
This booklet describes the source and appearance of many of the stones used in building Washington, D.C. A map and a walking tour guide are included to help you discover Washington's building stones on your own.
bullit Collecting Rocks
Learn about different types of rocks and how to identify and collect them. A USGS publication.
bullit Natural Gemstones
This 16-page booklet describes mineral and organic gemstones. It gives values of U.S. production of natural and synthetic minerals versus imports, as well as gemstone chemical formulas. Selected references are also supplied.
bullit Mineralogical Society of America
Society for the advancement of mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry, and petrology, and promotion of their uses in other sciences, industry, and the arts.
bullit Mineralogy 4 Kids
Mineral fact sheets, information about mineral properties, information about crystals, and a section of mineral games.
bullit This Planet Really Rocks
"This Planet Really Rocks" is a website that was created by a team of fifth and sixth grade students to create interest in the fascinating world of rocks and minerals. This website contains informative pages about the origin, classification, recycling processes, important uses of rocks and minerals. In addition, examples of the most common rocks and minerals are highlighted with specific information and photos. A glossary of geological terms is also included. Furthermore, many collaborative activities have been incorporated in this website to enhance the student's learning about rocks and minerals.
bullit Bedrock Geology
A photo gallery of metamorphosed sedimentary rocks in the Mather Gorge Formation of the Appalachian Mountains
bullit Geology of the National Parks
From the swirling sands of Mojave National Preserve's Kelso Dunes to the brief, fiery growth of Sunset Crater Volcano, our National Parks preserve the showcases of our nation's right geological heritage. We invite you to explore a few of these very special places with us.
bullit Atlas of Rocks, Minerals, and Textures
bullit Igneous Rocks Tour
bullit Sedimentary Rocks Tour
bullit Metamorphic Rocks Tour
bullit Crystal Growing for Students
Resources and information for crystal growing.
bullit The Crystal Growing Home Page
Recipes for growing different types of crystals, images, and information.

Lesson Plans

  • Rock Hounds Lesson Plan
    By using the resources on this web-based activity, students will gain an understanding of the rock cycle including how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form.
  • Discovery School Lesson Plan - Rocks
    Students will understand the following:
    1. Old rocks on Earth’s surface are gradually reduced to tiny pieces, or sediments, by erosion caused by water, wind, or glacial ice.
    2. Sedimentary rock is formed when those small pieces of rock are compressed into larger rock formations.
    3. Erosion breaks the rock down again, and the cycle continues.
  • Thematic Unit Rocks and Minerals
    Students will expand their knowledge of rocks by exploring the characteristics of local rocks.
  • Everybody Needs a Rock This 5-day unit provides a variety of activities for students to observe, sort, and classify rocks. This unit can also be done with any type of object (seeds, leaves, tools, shells) that you have available to complement your curriculum.
  • Telling the Story of a Rock
    Students will: List the geologic events that resulted in the creation of the "Ring of Fire" and the Aleutian Mountain Range, while watching the first hour of the field trip. Examine samples and explanations of the rock cycle using Internet resources. Organize the list of geologic events into their own rock cycle flow chart. Use these to write the story of a rock from its first intrusion onto the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean 300 million years ago to its final formation as a rock from of the Mt. Novarupta eruption.
  • Growing Crystals That Will Make Your Crystallographer Happy
    Crystal growing guide.
  • Experiments in Growing Crystals
    Here's how to grow your own crystals and cave formations.
  • Minerals, Crystals, and Gems: Stepping-Stones to Inquiry
    Introduces students to mineral science and teaches the scientific process of observation, hypothesis, and conclusion. Presented by Smithsonian Education.
  • Stories Written in Stone
    Activities that accompany this museum program.
  • Observing Crystals
    Winter is a time to observe and study crystals, especially as they appear in beautiful snowflakes. Even if you live in a warm area, this activity will help your students understand the formation and complexity of crystals, as well as the characteristic of uniformity all crystals share.
  • Metamorphic Rock Pancakes
    a concrete, hands-on way for the students to remember how metamorphic rocks are made.
  • Testing Hardness of a Mineral
    The hardiness of a mineral is one of the most diagnostic and easy tests to perform in the attempt to identify an unknown mineral. Hardness is a measure of a mineral's resistance to abrasion and reflects the atomic structure of a mineral
  • Rock Hounds at Heart
    integrate literature with science by reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Students will learn to describe rocks by using different physical properties.
  • Newton's Apple Gems
    One of the things that makes gemstones look so spectacular is the way the light bends and bounces inside them. This light show is mainly due to the internal arrangement of atoms within the crystal's structure. As the chemistry of the mineral changes, so does the crystal shape, or "habit." In this activity, you'll see for yourself how different chemical compounds produce different-shaped crystals when you cook up your own "gems."

Arts & Crafts

  • Crystal Painting
    Students will observe a variety of naturally occurring crystalline solids; observe a variety of crystalline solids available in the supermarket, drug store, or hardware store; use watercolor techniques, wax crayons, and the saturated solutions of the crystalline solids in objective 2 to paint a picture; compare, write a description, and draw diagrams of the various crystals; exhibit the completed paintings.
  • Rock Crafts for Fun
    Rock painting and rock jewelry.
  • Poetry Pebbles
    Similar to the poetry magnets set, make poetry pebbles and then make your own poetry.
  • Rock Necklace
    Use a rock collected from a special place or during a special outing.
  • ROCK and ROLL FUN!
    Three rock arts and crafts: Great Gravel Mosaics, and two paperweight ideas.
  • Pet A Rock
    Get ideas for painting rocks to look just like your pet.
  • Stonecraft by Flozart
    Learn how to make sculptures using rocks.

Games and Activities

Books and Science Activities

Book Image Basher Science: Rocks & Minerals
by Simon Basher (Illustrator)

Simon Basher is back with another zany primer to science! Following his 3 successful titles on the basics of chemistry, physics, and biology, ROCKS AND MINERALS is an in-depth look at the ground beneath our feet. Like his other titles, Basher presents these topics through charming and adorable illustrations and pairs them with basic information told from a first person perspective. He develops a community of characters based on the things that form the foundations of our planet: rocks, gems, crystals, fossils and more. And what's more, he makes it understandable, interesting, and cute. It's not what you expect out of a science primer.


Book Image Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Magic Crystal Garden
by Be Amazing

This crystal growing kit is packed with all kinds of crystals to grow you. Grow a colorful crystal tree in just minutes using the "magic crystal packets," grow your own crystal dog; make a crystal geode in an eggshell and much, much more. Learn how capillary action makes crystals.


Book Image Best Book of Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals, The
by Chris Perrault

Pack up your gear and get ready to go on a dig. Whether it's iron ore, dazzling gemstones, or a prehistoric creature preserved in amber, a mother lode of exciting discoveries await budding paleontologists and geologists in this informative picture book. Large and detailed full-color spreads, complemented by clear, concise text unearth the mysteries of the ground beneath our feet. Children will learn how rocks, crystals, minerals, and fossils are formed, where they are found, and how they are used. Step-by-step illustrations and captions explore such processes as the fossilization of ancient animals and plants, together with the work of the scientists who catalog and preserve them. Includes an illustrated glossary and an index to sharpen the young reader's reference skills.


Book Image Big Rock, The
by Bruce Hiscock

The "'big rock" is a granite boulder that began as molten rock millions of years ago. Through the ages, the mountains above it wore down, the ocean flooded the region, and then new mountains heaved the rock upward, to the surface of a New York State forest.

Even though the dinosaurs and other living things have come and gone, the rock remains as a survivor of the Ice Age and silent witness to the earth's continuing evolution. Once you know its story, you will never again overlook another rock like this one.


Book Image Crystal & Gem
by R. F. Symes

Here is a spectacular and informative guide to the amazing world of crystals and gems. Superb color photographs of crystals, jewels and gemstones of every color, size and shape offer a unique "eyewitness" insight into their extraordinary beauty and variety. See a crystal growing, diamonds used to cut through a brick wall, a phantom crystal, gemstones formed in a volcano, and crystals of gold and silver. Learn how a quartz watch works, how to identify crystals, why crystals have been grown in space, how crystals are used healing, and why Napoleon had a diamond in his sword. Discover where to find crystals in your home, how synthetic crystals are made, which famous rubies are really spinels, which is your birthstone, and much, much more.


Book Image Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop
by Stuart J. Murphy

Josh is the best collector on the block. And now he has something new to collect - rocks! Soon Josh and his best friend, Amy, have so many rocks they need to organize their collection. But how?

Young collectors will be fascinated by all there is to know about rocks and about classifying - sorting and organizing objects by attributes like color, shape, or size. Grab your rock hammer and join the fun with this entertaining story by Stuart J. Murphy and lively art by Cat Bowman Smith.


Book Image Discover Nature at Sundown: Things to Know and Things to Do
by Elizabeth P. Lawlor, Pat Archer (Illustrator


Book Image Edu Science Rock Tumbler
Toys "R" Us

This heavy duty Rock Tumbler does much more than ordinary rock polishers. It actually changes rough stones into beautiful high luster semi-precious gemstones. You can even make jewelry and key chains with the settings included in this set. U.L. listed. Set includes: tumbling machine with heavy duty motor, rough semi precious stones, (including amethyst, jasper, agate and others), grit, polish, jewelry settings, glue and instruction manual.


Book Image Everybody Needs a Rock
by Byrd Baylor

Everybody needs a rock -- at least that's the way this particular rock hound feels about it in presenting her own highly individualistic rules for finding just the right rock for you.


Book Image Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals, A
by Frederick H. Pough, Roger Tory Peterson (Editor)

The definitive guide to rocks and minerals, completely updated for the fifth edition, includes 385 color photographs showing rocks, minerals, and geologic formations. Hundreds of minerals are described, with details such as geographic formations. Hundreds of minerals are described, with details such as geographic distribution, physical properties, chemical composition, and crystalline structures.


Book Image Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles, A
by Eileen Van Der Flier-Keller

Have you ever been walking at the beach and wondered what that pebble or rock is, or do you ever wonder what stories rocks tell? If so, then this is the guide for you. "The Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles," a full colour, laminated, accordion folded, easy to use guide with over 80 beautiful photographs of pebbles from beaches and rivers. Use the photos to identify over 28 different types of rocks and minerals. A great resource for Earth Science curriculum units in schools, the short text deals with how rocks form and how to tell if a rock is igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. It also provides some fun facts about minerals in our daily lives.


Book Image Geology Crafts for Kids: 50 Nifty Projects to Explore the Marvels of Planet Earth
by Alan Anderson, Gwen Diehn, Terry Krautwurst

Includes activities designed to explore the broad spectrum of geologic phenomena such as plate tectonics, continental drift, mountain and valley formation, and erosion.


Book Image Geology Rocks!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth
by Cindy Blobaum, Michael P. Kline

Presents fifty hands-on activities to introduce the science of geology and explain the formation and history of the earth.


Book Image Grow Colossal Crystal
by Scientific Explorer

Use our growing powder and solutions to grow giant crystals that will amaze your friends.

Safety Information
WARNING : This set contains Chemicals that may be harmful if misused. Read cautions in individual labels and in the instruction booklet carefully. Not to be used by children except under adult supervision.


Book Image If You Find a Rock
by Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember

Think of all the rocks there are-the skipping rocks, the splashing rocks, and the chalk rocks. Whether the found treasures are climbing rocks or wishing rocks, children can't help collecting them.

With joyful text and luminous photographs, If You Find a Rock celebrates rocks everywhere-as well as the mysterious and wonderful places they are found.


Book Image Is There a Dinosaur in Your Backyard?: The World's Most Fascinating Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals
by Spencer Christian, Antonia Felix

How are rocks formed? Where do diamonds come from? Why did the dinosaurs disappear? Can rocks really grow on trees . . . or come from outer space?

Join popular ABC-TV weather forecaster Spencer Christian as he explores the extraordinary tales that rocks tell about the history of the earth and the life of our ancestors. Meet Lucy, one of the most famous human fossils in the world. Name your own dinosaur. Cook up some red-hot lavaor make rocks in your kitchen!

It's an action-packed tour that takes you around the world and through your own backyard as you follow the exciting trail of rock history, legend, and lore. Lots of easy-to-do activities let you experience nature up closeand dozens of fun facts and illustrations bring the world's wonders to vivid life.


Book Image Janice VanCleave's Rocks and Minerals
by Janice VanCleave

Janice VanCleave's Rocks and Minerals includes 20 fun and simple experiments that allow you to discover the answers to these and other fascinating questions about rocks and minerals, plus dozens of additional suggestions for developing your own science fair projects.

See how sedimentary rock is formed using two pillows, a yardstick, and some masking tape. Make models of rocks and minerals with gumdrops, toothpicks, and plastic bags. Learn what carbonate minerals are and how to identify them using a glass jar, some vinegar, and an egg. All experiments use inexpensive household materials and involve a minimum of preparation and clean up.


Book Image Let's Rock!: Rock Painting for Kids
by Linda Kranz

Rock painting is a popular new hobby that people of all ages can enjoy. It incorporates the fun of scouting for rocks and collecting them, and using your creativity to make them into pieces of art! Linda Kranz has been painting on rocks for years, and she shares her ideas and inspirations with young readers in a fun, easy-to-use format. This book is full of tips for cleaning your "canvas," ideas for designs including over 100 cut-out patterns, gift ideas for friends and family, and even games to create from your painted rocks. Rock painting is a perfect way to bring a love of nature and the outdoors indoors for crafting. Kids need just a few materials to get started, and then anything's possible! Does the shape of your rock look like a giraffe, or a piece of pizza? Maybe it's heart shaped to paint for the perfect Valentine. Or maybe it's a smooth circle just waiting for your own design!

Ideas and instructions are basic enough for painters as young as 6 to understand. Older children will take the ideas presented here even further to create truly unique pieces of art.


Book Image Looking at Rocks
by Jennifer Dussling, Deborah Drew-Brook-Cormack, Allan Drew-Brook-Cormack, Tim Haggerty

From their backyard to the local bank, rock hounds can identify common rocks wherever they go-all on their own!


Book Image Quicksand Book, The
by Tomie De Paola

Discusses the composition of quicksand and rescue procedures.


Book Image Rock Collecting
by Roma Gans, Holly Keller

Explains how to start a rock collection and how to recognize igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Primary level.


Book Image Rock Tumbler
by Natural Sciences Industry

Editorial Review
It may be a grind to wait nearly 30 days to create polished rock jewelry with the Rolling Stones Rock Tumbler. But, as the makers write, "you are grinding in days what it takes nature thousands of years to do in a stream, river, or ocean." So, find a clean, remote area with a properly wired outlet where the constant tumbling won't disturb others (and where curious little hands won't wreak havoc), and start rolling. The first step involves assembling and lubricating the tumbler itself. Once the two-cup, plastic barrel rolls easily atop its 10-inch-long and 6-inch-high plastic base, it's time to open the small bag of gritty stones that comes with the kit. Constant maintenance and much patience will reward the owner with shiny stones in about one month. A small sampling of jewelry settings and findings is provided, along with order forms for gold-tinted accessories. --Liane Thomas


Book Image Rocks & Soil Thematic Unit
by Janet Hale

Rocks & Soil provides lesson plans and cross-curricular activities based on the following pieces of literature: How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World, The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth. This reproducible resource is filled with ready-to-use lessons and cross-curricular activities. Also included are management ideas, creative suggestions for the classroom, and a bibliography. Grades 1-3.


Book Image Rocks and Fossils
by Chris Pellant

Packed with crisp photography, engaging activities, and clear explanations, Rocks and Fossils is an authoritative and fun guide to this favorite subject.


Book Image Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)
by Edward R. Ricciuti, Margaret W. Carruthers

Amazon.com
This book is part of a series of guides designed for adolescents interested in natural history and nature. The books are an excellent introduction to the Rocks and Minerals, Birds, Wildflowers, and Insects for children aged 8-18. Each guide is appropriately sized to fit in a field vest pocket. Readers who remember previous versions of these field guides from the 1970s that were dull and overly detailed will be pleasantly surprised. These books are arguably the most beautifully photographed and laid out field guides yet published for young people. Each book has an introductory section filled with interesting facts, descriptions of early naturalists, definitions of many of the terms used in the book, and a guide to using the field guide portion of the book. Best of all, the books also come equipped with laminated field "cheat sheet" cards, for quick identification while on the go, in any kind of weather. Each field guide features 50 common specimens with photos and brief descriptions of many more regionally occurring rocks and minerals. Brief discussions of threatened and endangered species are particularly valuable. Great first guides for children and adults with limited natural history background.

The Rocks and Minerals guide has excellent photographs and descriptions of many minerals and rock types. Most junior naturalists will never see mineral crystals in the field as shown in the photographs, but the guide gives a good understanding of where and how these minerals formed. --Merri Martz


Book Image Rocks and Minerals : A Guide to Field Identification (Golden Field Guide from St. Martin's Press)
by Charles A. Sorrell

Covering rocks and minerals form around the worldfrom brilliant Brazilian Aquamarine to Wulfenite from Arizona's Red Cloud Minethis unique guide was created for the serious mineral enthusiast or rock collector. Rocks and Minerals fills the gap between academic texts and popular books by providing a magnificent rock and mineral catalog in glowing color, plus tips on where they are found.


Book Image Rocks and Minerals Coloring Book
by T.D. Burns

36 illustrations of smoky quartz, amethyst, malachite, emerald, celestite, crazy lace agate, aragonite, garnet, and many more.


Book Image Rocks and Soil
by Terry Jennings

An introduction to different kinds of rocks and soils describing their characteristics, location, and uses. Includes study questions, activities and experiments.


Book Image Rocks in His Head
by Carol Otis Hurst

Some people collect stamps. Other people collect coins. Carol Otis Hurst's father collected rocks. Nobody ever thought his obsession would amount to anything. They said, "You've got rocks in your head" and "There's no money in rocks." But year after year he kept on collecting, trading, displaying, and labeling his rocks. The Depression forced the family to sell their gas station and their house, but his interest in rocks never wavered. And in the end the science museum he had visited so often realized that a person with rocks in his head was just what was needed.

Anyone who has ever felt a little out of step with the world will identify with this true story of a man who followed his heart and his passion.


Book Image Rocks in My Pockets
by Marc Harshman, Bonnie Collins, Toni Goffe

The rocks around their mountain farm serve all of the Woods family in many ways, both utilitarian and recreational, until the day two ladies from the city come to visit.


Book Image Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads
by Laura Evert, Linda Garrow (Illustrator)

This fun book illustrates and discusses 15 varieties of rocks and minerals (such as basalt, slate, limestone, marble), 5 kinds of fossils (such as clams, wood, plants), and 7 kinds of arrowheads and artifacts (such as gunflints, knives, axes).

The chapters include information to help kids find these specimens on a nature walk. The text explains what it looks like, where to find it, and what it is used for. Detailed and true-to-life illustrations help kids identify them. Includes activities and scrapbook pages for notes. This is a perfect book for children ages 7 to 10.


Book Image Rumbly Tumbly Glittery Gritty Place, A
by Mary Lyn Ray, Douglas Florian

A young boy explains his fascination with the large gravel pit across the street from his house. The boy knows that many grown-ups in the neighborhood think the gravel pit is ugly, but he uses his imagination to see it as more than just a pile of rocks--in fact to him it can be an oceanless beach, a mountain range, or even a place filled with buried treasure. Illustrated with watercolor paintings.


Book Image Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
by Chris Pellant, Helen Pellant, Harry Taylor

The Smithsonian Handbook of Rocks and Minerals combines 600 vivid full--color photos with descriptions of more than 500 specimens. This authoritative and systematic photographic approach, with words never separated from pictures, marks a new generation of identification guides. Each entry combines a precise description with annotated photographs to highlight the chief characteristics of the rock or mineral and distinguishing features. Color--coded bands provide a clear, at--a--glance facts for quick reference. In addition, each mineral entry features an illustration showing the crystal system to which the mineral belongs. Designed for beginners and experienced collectors alike, the Smithsonian Handbook of Rocks and Minerals explains what rocks or minerals are, how they are classified, and how to start a collection. To help in the initial stages of rock identification, a clear visual key illustrates the differences between igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, then guides the reader to the correct rock entry. A concise glossary provides instant understanding of technical and scientific terms.


Book Image Thank God for Rocks
by Esther Bender, Mary Anne Lard

Many years ago, a poor man bought a small farm with a small rickety house and a small rickety barn. So begins this wonderful tale of a farmer trying to make a living on the most rock-filled farm in the whole county. But it was the best he could afford. So the farmer thanked God for his farm, poor as it was, and that gratitude was the key to developing the most fertile land, the best buildings, the fattest cattle, and a happy, healthy, and large family by the end of the tale.

This story, told beautifully by Esther Bender, and lavishly illustrated by Mary Anne Lard, helps children understand the nature and power of gratitude as a way of living in the worst and best of circumstances. (Ages 3-7)


Book Image Ultimate Sticker Book: Rocks and Minerals
by Helena Spiteri


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