Unit 5: Rocks & Minerals

The study of rocks and minerals is part of a large branch of science called Geology. Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them.


Broader context:

Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. That is, all rocks are made of minerals. Mineral properties are important in determining how we use them and also play a role in changes that take place to the rocks that are exposed to various agents of weathering in the environment (water, air, etc.). Those changes will be addressed in another unit.


Learning objectives:

1. Minerals

   - learn what minerals are and why they have the properties that they do

   - learn about diagnostic properties used for identifying minerals

   - be able to identify minerals based on their properties

   - utilize ESRT (pp. 1 and 16) to assist in answering questions about minerals


2. Rocks

   - the three rock types, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic are differentiated by their method of formation and have properties that result from how they are formed.

   - become proficient in the use of pages 6 and 7 in the ESRT

   - identify rocks as being igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic and supporting the classification with observable evidence (characteristics of the rocks)

   - describe the method of formation for each rock type

   - the rock cycle is a model that can be used to show how rock types are interrelated, and how natural processes continually recycle rock material


Mineral Identification & Properties

Dates: Friday, March 20 through Tuesday, March 24

Review book pages: 218 - 223


Learning materials

1. Powerpoint: Intro to Minerals

2. Video: A Brief Introduction to Minerals (10:21)

3. Powerpoint: Mineral Properties and Diagnostic Tests

4. Video: How to identify a Mineral (8:39)


Activities & Assessments 

Castlelearning Assignment: Minerals 2020

Breakage Patterns practice  (complete on google classroom)

Igneous Rocks

Dates: Wednesday, March 25 to Thursday, March 26

Review book pages: 226 - 228

Learning materials

1. Powerpoint: Intro to Igneous Rocks

2. Video: What is an Igneous Rock? (5:37)

3. Video: Understanding Page 6 of the ESRT (5:55)


Activities & Assessments

Identifying Igneous Rocks

Castlelearning Assignment

Sedimentary Rocks

Dates: Friday, March 27

Review book pages: 223 - 226

Learning materials

1. Powerpoint: Intro to Sedimentary Rocks

2. Video: What is a Sedimentary Rock? (8:39)

3. Video: Understanding Page 7 of the ESRT Sedimentary Rocks (3:38)


Activities & Assessments

Castlelearning Assignment

Metamorphic Rocks

Dates: Monday, March 30

Review book pages: 228 - 231

Learning materials

1. Powerpoint: Intro to Metamorphic Rocks

2. Video: What is a Metamorphic Rock? (3:59)

3. Video: Understanding Page 7 of the ESRT Metamorphic Rocks (3:33)


Activities & Assessments

Castlelearning Assignment

The Rock Cycle

Dates: Tuesday, March 31 to Wednesday April 1

Review book pages: 231 - 232

Learning materials

1. Video: Rock Cycle (4:24)

2. Rock Cycle (explained with food) (4:31)

3. Powerpoint: Rock Cycle & Review of Rock Identification (Highly recommended for Rock ID lab)


Activities & Assessments

Rock Cycle & Summary Questions

Rock Identification Lab (Graded)