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Lesson Plan

Rock and Mineral study

Summary: 
Appreciate the beauty and variation in rocks. Identify minerals in rocks and through mineral tests.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Earth/Space: Rock cycle, Earth Materials, Natural resources (5)
Procedure: 

Do a selection of the activities.

Explore a rock collection to notice the varied colours, patterns and textures in rocks and minerals.
Look very closely at granite to find the individual mineral grains in it.
Identify minerals with streak and hardness tests.
Break open geodes to find the mineral crystals inside.
If available, use a rock tumbler to initiate the (weeks long) process of polishing rocks. Tumbler and rough rocks available at Capilano Rock and Gem (see resource).

Notes: 

Wear mineral jewelry if possible. e.g. jade necklace, and show students rough jade to compare.

NYC after school programs did rock collection and geodes then sedimentary sand art.
Science clubs did granite minerals and mineral testing, then started rock tumbling, including amazonite.

Grades taught: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Teaching Site: 
Bayview Elementary Science Club
Gordon Elementary Science Club
After School Programs at Elementary schools in New York City