Minerals. This presentation is an brief introduction to minerals, their properties that are used to identify them and reviews some of the most common minerals.
PowerPoint Click to download the MS Powerpoint file (15.1 Mbytes).
PDF. Click to view or download the presentation in PDF (1.7 Mbytes).
HTML. Click to view the presentation in html.
Online Lecture. Click here to view a streaming lecture about minerals. (coming soon).
Rocks. These presentations introduces the rock cycle and the major types of rocks.
PowerPoint Click to download the MS Powerpoint file (8.6 Mbytes).
PDF. Click to view or download the presentation in PDF (8.2 Mbytes).
HTML. Click to view the presentation in html.
Online Lecture Part 1. Click here to view a streaming lecture discussing the rock cycle and igneous rocks. (~39 minutes).
Online Lecture Part 2. Click here to view a streaming lecture discussing sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. (~19 minutes).
Mineral Identification Activity. Click to download this activity sheet where students use their observation skills and mineral properties to identify the most common minerals.
Rock Identification Activity. Click to download this activity sheet where students use their observation skills and rock properties to identify the most common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
Rock Cycle Modeling Activity. Click to download this actiivity where students model the rock cycle using 3 rock samples and devleoping a scenario demonstrating how the rocks may be transforms in the rock cycle. PDF Word document
Online Video and Media Resources
We Will Rock You! This student-produced music video describes the rock cycle with Queen's song: We Will Rock You.
The Rock Cycle. This educational video from MIT describes the 3 different types of rocks and the rock cycle.
Bill Nye Erosion. This video from Bill Nye discusses the agents of erosion.
Mineral Properties, Photos, Uses and Descriptions. This website at Geology.com has descriptions and photos of the most common minerals.
Rocks: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary. This website at Geology.com has images of major igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
Gemstones. This website at Geology.com has descriptions and photos of the most common types of gemstones.
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems: Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather. (5-ESS2-1)
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems; All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet's systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth's hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth's materials and living organisms. (MS-ESS2-1)
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions: Maps of ancient land and water patterns, based on investigations of rocks and fossils, make clear how Earth's plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart. (MS-ESS2-3)
ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth: The geologic time scale interpreted from rock strata provides a way to organize Earth's history. Analyses of rock strata and the fossil record provide only relative dates, not an absolute scale. (MS-ESS1-4)
Tectonic processes continually generate new ocean sea floor at ridges and destroy old sea floor at trenches. (secondary to MS-ESS2-3)
ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth: Continental rocks, which can be older than 4 billion years, are generally much older than the rocks of the ocean floor, which are less than 200 million years old. (HS-ESS1-5)
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions: Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains the past and current movements of the rocks at Earth's surface and provides a framework for understanding its geologic history. (secondary to HS-ESS1-5), (HS-ESS2-1)
Plate movements are responsible for most continental and ocean-floor features and for the distribution of most rocks and minerals within EarthÕs crust. (HS-ESS2-1)
Common Scientific Misconceptions
Separations along bedding plane, like those that dominate most sedimentary outcrops, occur deep beneath the Earth's surface.
Rocks (and minerals) grow.
Coarse-grained rocks are rough, fine-grained rocks are smooth.
Coarse-grained sedimentary rocks cooled slowly, coarse-grained igneous rocks formed in areas of high depositional energy, etc.
With minerals, the term 'massive' texture means that the samples are big.
The fossil record does not support evolution.
There is significant disagreement about earth’s age among scientists.
The Earth has always been pretty much the way it is now.
The Earth is as old as the oldest rocks found on its surface, 3.8 billion years old.
All rocks and planets were formed at the same time.
There is one geologic column for the whole earth.
All rocks are more or less the same (a rock is a rock!)