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Rocks, Minerals, & Mining

Lesson Plans

Building Stones of the U.S. - By examining the NIST Stone wall via the Internet, students will determine the weathering rate of various rocks in the mid-Atlantic region. They will then pick a rock to use in building their "dream house" and justify their choice.

If You Bit a Rock (2.5MB PDF) - To observe and describe physical characteristics of a familiar model (candy bars) and apply to the unfamiliar (rocks). This is also an excellent activity to introduce geological terminology used in describing rocks.

What Materials are in My Car? - Fun activity to help students realize how much we depend on mining to build a car.

Edible Rocks - Meteorites - This lesson has been designed as a comfortable introduction to describing meteorites. It helps students become better observers by making a connection between the familiar (candy bars) and the unfamiliar (meteorites). Edible "rocks" are used in a scientific context, showing students the importance of observation, teamwork and communication skills. (Same as "IF YOU BIT A ROCK." but with meteorites, not earth rocks.)

Toothpaste with a Twist - Allows students to produce a "marketable product used by most people ever day that is made with minerals.

Fast Crystallization - A fun and simple activity in which your students will watch four different salt crystals form. They will observe, record, and answer questions about the crystallization.


Lesson Plan Links

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Rocks & Minerals Activities Selected labs and activities.
Rock and Mineral Vocab Review Rock and Mineral Hangman.
Three Dimensional Geology - Apply geological concepts to a real-life problem-solving situation and give students an appreciation of the three dimensional nature of rock strata using rocks, fossils, and simulated cores
Bird Seed Mining Activity - Students mine 'valuable' beads from birdseed tailings and calculate their costs, earnings, and reclamation. Fun!
Cookie Mining - Always a fun activity to use to promote knowledge of mining.
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. Need Internet access, a web browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, e-mail access and materials that are listed under the activity collections.
Women in Mining - This Web site contains mineral resources for teachers, activities, games, and other links.


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