Unit Activities: Minerals

by Jon Stern

New Paltz High School, New York


Unit Objectives

Give examples of mineral uses.

Understand what a mineral is.

Observe a mineral's properties in order to identify it.

Provide examples of atoms may be arranged within a mineral.

Classify minerals based on chemical composition.

"C" Level Work (65 points maximum)

(underlined assignments are mandatory)

(*check the rubrics for this activity)

Take notes for each lesson: (25 points) *

What is a Mineral? (5 points)

Mineral Properties (5 points)

Mineral Density (5 points)

Mineral Structure (5 points)

Mineral Classification (5 points)

Create a web page or PowerPoint presentation: (5 points)* the page should include information from one of the unit lectures.

Flash Cards: (5 points)* create flash cards using the following words- mineral, cleavage, luster, hardness, streak, silica tetrahedral, density, fracture, specific gravity

Book Work: (5 points)* read or listen to What is a Mineral on Pp. 77-83 and complete study guide 4-1.

Video: Geologist's Notebook: What Exactly are Minerals? (5 points) watch the video and complete the accompanying worksheet. The video can be accessed online at Type in the pass code _______-_______ and search for geologist's notebook.

Mineral Survey: (5 points) find 10 objects from around your house that contain minerals. On a sheet of paper write the name of the object and minerals found in it. Use the text, internet, or other resources to find out the object's minerals.

Book Work: (5 points)* read or listen to Identifying Minerals on Pp. 84-91 and complete study guide 4-2.

Lab: Mineral Identification (minerals 1-10): (10 points- lab)

Lab: Mineral Identification (minerals 11-20): (5 points- lab)

Presentation: Mineral Characteristics: (5 points- lab) use minerals found in the school collection to illustrate excellent examples of cleavage, fracture, metallic luster, high specific gravity, colored streak, and a variety of hardnesses. Complete the observation sheet.

Lab: Density of Minerals: (5 points-lab)

Using Density: (5 points)

Web Site Activity: (5 points)* go to the Mineral Unit on the class web site and follow the "How Do Crystals Grow?" link. Be sure to write out the questions.

Artwork-Poster: My Favorite Mineral: (10 points)* create a poster of your favorite mineral. Make sure you include pictures, information, and diagrams about its appearance, properties, uses, mineral group, and atomic structure.

Glencoe On-line Practice Quiz: (5 points) Go to the Mineral Unit on the class web site and follow the "Take a Mineral Quiz" link. When you have answered all questions correctly print out the final page which shows your results. On-line Practice Quiz: (5 points) Go to the Mineral Unit on the class web site and follow the link to Log in or register if you have not yet done so (there is a $9.95 one time fee). Follow the links to the Mineral Quiz and complete on line. You will be allowed to make corrections.

"B" Level Work (15 points maximum)*

Create a Mineral Collection: (15 points- lab) Use at least 5 minerals you have at home or collect new ones. On separate index cards record for each mineral the type of break, streak, hardness, luster, color, density, and any other helpful characteristics. Identify both the mineral and its group. A nice box for your collection would be a fine touch!

Make structure model mobiles: (15 points- lab): go to the Mineral Unit on the class web site and follow the "Construct a Mineral Structure" link. Print a template for the cube, tetrahedral, and octahedral (best if printed on card thickness). After making each model, research the names of several minerals with that atomic arrangement. Write the name of each mineral on one of the faces of its appropriate model along with that mineral's composition and mineral group. Decorate each and use the models to make a mobile.

"A" Level Work (20 points maximum)*

Gem Sleuths: (20 points) Go to the Mineral Unit on the class web site and follow the "Gem Sleuths" link. Use the resource links provided to solve the problem. You must use 3 resource links by properly citing and summarizing them on an "A" Level Assignment Sheet. Your solution along with a detailed explanation should accompany the assignment sheet on a separate paper.

Why are diamonds such a valued mineral? (20 points)

Build the unit cell of a mineral using the mineral structure templates from the C level activity. You will be given additional time to complete this that will require meeting with the teacher. Extra credit will be given. (20 points- lab)