Rockhounds agree - this mineral activity rocks

Elementary / Middle School / High School

As Jiminy Cricket said, "I'm no fool, no siree!"

Suppose you find a yellow hunk of metal in a stream. How could you tell if it's real gold? In the city, a street vendor offers to sell you a diamond ring for thirty bucks. How could you test if the rock in the ring is a real diamond?

With this activity, that fool's gold or imitation diamond ring won't stump students from your science classroom! It's also a way to turn students' natural fascination with rocks into a fun and engaging Earth Science lab.

Using various testing methods, students will learn the properties that distinguish one mineral from another, including color, streak, luster, hardness, fracture, and density. They'll learn how those properties are determined, how minerals are classified, how they occur in nature, and how they're used in daily life.

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