Students begin to develop an understanding of the basic differences of minerals by observing each mineral and writing an observation about it's color, texture, luster and overall appearance.
Students can work individually or in pairs to make observations.
Minerals should only be identified by a letter & number written on an index card and can be spread throughout the room as stations.
After students record their observations for each mineral, they may want to compare with other students or share out in class to compare commonalities.
Then, students can either be given the answer key to check for themselves and perhaps make better descriptions OR the key can just be verbally shared.
This should be the first step in beginning to identify minerals.
*Check out my other lessons on minerals and rocks.