Most minerals can be easily identified by using the common properties such as color, luster, hardness.. etc. In this lab, students use what they have learned about mineral properties to identify some common rock-forming minerals.
Being able to identify minerals will enable then to understand more about the processes that form and change the rocks beneath Earth’s surface.
This investigation Helps them to see how they can use simple tests and tools to identify common minerals.
• Mineral Samples
• Hand Lens
• Paper towels
• Streak plate
• Copper penny
• 50-ml graduated cylinder
• Tap water
• Steel nail
• Diluted Hydrochloric Acid
I used this lab with my 6th graders for our Earth Science - Rocks & Minerals unit
It can easily be used for 7th & 8th as well as be adapted for high school.
The sample shows you the start of the lab, along with a portion of the identification chart that I made from other sources. There was no 1 data table that included everything I was looking for so I made my own.
I have also included in the sample some pictures of how I set up the unidentified minerals in my classroom.
I chose to do 8 but you could easily do more.
It took my 15- 6th graders about 4 -45 min classes to completely get through the lab. Finding Density of each mineral was by far the trickiest part, as they had not been introduced to that before this.