Mineral Crystal Systems
Mineral crystal system tutorial and lab starts with cut, paste, and identification crystal system images. Crystal systems include: isometric (cube and octahedron), tetragonal (tetragonal prism, dipyramid, and pyramid with prism), hexagonal (dypyramid, prism, and rhombohedron), orthorhombic (rhombic prism), monoclinic (monoclinic prism), and triclinic (rhombohedral prism).
Minerals include: pyrite, fluorite, wulfenite, powellite, zircon, quartz, corundum, calcite, topaz, mica, orthoclase feldspar, and plagioclase feldspar.
The second activity is a crystal structure pocket guide (ARTS and CRAFTS). Students separate the crystals into 6 sections with a title and back cover. Kids LOVE this one!
The third activity is a LAB. Epsom salt crystals versus table salt crystals. Using a microscope students analyze, compare, and contrast both types of crystals. Students can either do this:
WITH LAB MATERIALS or WITHOUT LAB MATERIALS. Pictures ARE PROVIDED if needed. Lab contains pre-lab questions, a detailed lab procedure with images, examples, actual microscope image examples, and conclusion questions.
The fourth activity is a mineral crystal cutout ARTS and CRAFTS lab in which students make all the major crystal systems with application to real minerals.
Very special cut and paste, Smartboard, or Velcro and laminate activity that challenges many learners based on how the information is presented. The instructor decides the difficulty!
This works well for any level but is GREAT for special education students or college prep learners that need an alternative assessment and may not be great at traditional labs.
Also, perfect for homeschooling!
WIDE RANGE OF ABILITY LEVELS! The application to a diverse body of learners, whether it be age or ability level, is predicated on the fact that the instructor determines the difficulty level of the whole activity or part of the activity based on what information is given and what information is not as well as how verbal questions are presented to the student(s).
This is a thorough and DYNAMIC activity that covers a ton of information about crystals. This has been used as a pre-class, lab/activity, study guide, review, and assessment. This is an effective teaching tool one on one, in small groups, and as a class when using a Smart Board/Promethean Board/Projection.
A guaranteed hit all around!
A great addition to your nature of science, inquiry, measurement, and/or geology teaching library.
Within the classroom, this activity has been consistently very successful and acclaimed by students in grades 3rd – 9th within multiple types of schools - public, private, and charter.
This work has also been shared at workshops, in-services, and conferences.
Answer key provided.
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*Activity designed, completed, and submitted at private residence/educational resource center*
Geo Leo and Meteo Mike
“The Tar Heel Tandem”
“Southern Science Specialists”