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Minerals Unit

This unit lasts 2-3 weeks

1. 5 Minutes 2. Locate items in the classroom and classify them as living or nonliving with your partner
Living Nonliving

Activity 1

Living Wood products Plant fibers (clothing) Plastics (petroleum-fossil fuel

Nonliving Most items Minerals

Activity 1

Graphite - pencils Clay - paper Metal screws, stools

Gypsum - wallboard
Silica Cement & glass Calcite concrete slab foundation

1. Look at your list of Nonliving items. 2. How would you describe them? Pretend you are a scientist and it is your job to create a definition. Record your ideas below.

Activity 2

There are over 4,000 minerals on Earth We have a 5 part definition 1. Naturally occurring 2. Solid substance 3. Inorganic 4. Definite chemical composition 5. Crystalline structure

Which question do you think is usually hardest to answer?

1, 2 & 3. Naturally Occurring Inorganic Solid

1. Naturally occurring
a. Must form through natural process b. Not man-made

2. Solid
a. No liquids or gases

3. Inorganic
a. Formed from non-living materials b. Excludes organic materials, such as fossils, oil, & natural gas

4. Definite Chemical Composition

It has a definitive chemical composition
Quartz (SiO2)
Si and O

Na and Cl

5. Atoms arranged in a Crystalline structure

Crystalline structure
Atoms are arranged in a repeating pattern that determines structure Structure is unique to each mineral Minerals can be grouped in classes based on how they form

Lets take a look at some minerals and their crystalline structures. Click on the link below. isualizations/es0505/es0505page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualizatio n

Atoms, Elements, & Compounds Review

Atom The smallest part of an element that has all the properties of the element


Pure substances that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by ordinary chemical means Compound 92 naturally occurring Element

A substance made up of 2 or more elements chemically joined or bonded What does a Buckyball look like? Click below to find out. s0504page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

Hexagonal Crystal Structure

example - Quartz

example Galena and Halite (salt)

Isometric -Cubic Crystal Structure

Activity 3 -More on Crystal Structure How big do you think

the crystals can get? As big as your hand? Your arm? Lets find out. ooks/earth_science/terc/cont ent/investigations/es0506/es 0506page01.cfm?chapter_no =investigation

Download the word document from schoolspace

Mineral v. Mineraloid
Minerals have a definite crystalline structure. Mineraloid Lacks definitive crystalline structure
Amorphous Opal, obsidian, flint Cooling rate faster than ability to organize into thermodynamically stable crystal
Find out more about Mineraloids. Click below.

Activity 4- Applying the Definition of Mineral

Lets Practice Identifying Objects as Mineral or Non-Mineral Record your answers below, we will review as a class.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Amber Coal Water Ice Ivory Glass

2 Major Mineral Groups

Chemical composition is the most common way to group minerals. 1. Silicates Si & O - 2 most common elements in Earths crust - 90% of all minerals 2. Nonsilicates No Si - C, O, Fl, S

Most common Al, Fe, Mg. K Quartz Feldspars

Many types


Biotite - Black Muscovite - White

Non Silicates
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Native elements Carbonates Halides Oxides Sulfates Sulfides

1. Native elements
Only composed of 1 element Au, Cu, Ag Used for: Communications & Electronics
To find out more about Native Elements, click below.

2. Carbonates
C&O Calcite Used for: Cement & Building Stones Fireworks
To find out more about Carbonates, click below. lcite.htm/

3. Halides
F, Cl, I, Br Fluorite Used for: Chemical Industry Detergents
To find out more about Halides, click below.

4. Oxides
Al or Fe or Ti combines with oxygen Corundum Used for: Abrasives Aircraft parts Paint
To find out more about Oxides, click below.

S & O (Oxidized Form) Gypsum Used for: Cosmetics & Toothpastes Cement Paint
To find out more about Sulfates, click below.

5. Sulfates

Pb, Fe, Ni (Reduced form) Galena Used for: Batteries Medicines Electronic Parts

6. Sulfides

To find out more about Sulfides, click below. e7&

Activity 5 Portfolio Project

Download Mineral Use Project from schoolspace. We will investigate Mineral Uses and their Importance in society in this project. It will take 2 days to complete and you and your partner will present your projects on the 3rd day

1. Cool from hot liquid magma

How Do Minerals Form?

Garnet, graphite, hematite, magnetite Plutons, pegmatites, metamorphism

2. Precipitate out from saturated solutions

Calcite & Dolomite (limestones), Au, Cu, S, Pyrite

3. Dissolve in liquids & evaporate

Gypsum, Halite

Identifying Minerals
Minerals may be identified by their physical properties: 8 ways
1. Color 2. Luster 3. Streak 4. Cleavage / Fracture 5. Hardness 6. Density 7. Diaphaneity 8. Special Properties Brain Pop Video:

NOT a good mineral identifier
The same mineral may exhibit many different colors
Quartz rose/purple/smoky/clear Exposure to air (pyrite)

The way the surface reflects light Metallic
Shines like a metal

Dull, glassy

Dull, muted shiny or glassy


Bright, reflective Light does not pass through Good Conductors Malleable Used for:
Electronics Communication Transportation

Metallic Minerals

Learn more about Metallic Luster. Click below h=215&w=252&sz=6&tbnid=jJeQPuh56fAcIM:&tbnh=91&tbnw=107&prev=/search%3Fq%3Daluminum%2Bfoil%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=aluminum+foil&usg =__aqM12r2B5sZJJ_utwAJJXOXsxD8=&docid=GTH_t35EDByV3M&sa=X&ei=_Jc2UKb2MIXW6gHp5oH4AQ&ved=0CFMQ9QEwAw&dur=378

NonMetallic Minerals
Semi-shiny to dull
Vitreous, silky, resinous, waxy, earthy, pearly

May let light pass through Good insulators Used for: Building materials Communications

The color of a mineral in powdered form

More reliable than color


Not always the same color as mineral Use a streak plate to get the sample
Unglazed porcelain

Describes how a mineral breaks
Determined by arrangement of atoms

Refers to the break along a flat surface

1, 2, or 3 directions

Describes how a mineral breaks Usually curved or irregular surface, random breakage
Sulphur & pyrite

Mohs Hardness Scale

A minerals resistance to being scratched 1 = Soft = Talc 10 = Hard = Diamond Higher numbered minerals scratch lower numbered Reference Material If reference mineral scratches unknown, then reference is harder than unknown
Fingernail = 2; Copper penny = 3.5; Steel file = 5; Glass = 6

Diamond Hardness = 10

Talc Hardness =1

Hardness Test
1. Which is the harder Mineral? 2. Which has a higher number?

Activity 6 Hardness Brain Teaser

You will practice using the hardness test. Go to schoolspace and download the Hardness Brain teaser. You may work with a partner to complete this task. We will review as a class.

Specific Gravity or Density

Measure of amount of matter in a given amount of space 2 ways to calculate Specific Gravity
Ratio of objects density to density of water Au = 19 g/cm3 Scale.htm&docid=7oJEnLu31WPFyM&imgurl= 0QHfjoDACQ&zoom=1

Ability to see through a mineral Degree of transparency Transparent

Clearly see images and light


See light but not images

No transmit light or images

Special Properties of Minerals

Salty Na, Cl Table salt

Radium or Uranium
Detected by Geiger counter


Magnetic Properties
Example = Magnetite Pyrrhotite

Double Refraction

example = Calcite

example = Calcite reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid

Acid Test

minerals glow while under ultraviolet light

example = Calcite & Fluorite


Strong Smell Sulfur

Activity 7 -Mineral Identification Lab

You will have 1 entire class period to practice identifying 20 minerals using the 8 different methods to identify minerals & their special properties. Grab a lab sheet and meet me in the back of the classroom Close your computer, you will not need it for the rest of the class.

Human wealth & welfare

Fluorite in our teeth


Malnutrition capsules

Concrete animation & podcast

Silica (sand) to computer chip podcast & animations

Ores & Gems

Gemstones Rare Beautiful Durable Examples Diamond


Diamond v. graphite podcast (3min15)

Ruby Sapphire Emerald

A mineral is an ore if it contains a useful substance that can be mined at a profit


Click below to see pictures of Silver Ore

Surface Deposits at or near the surface Open pits Surface mines Quarries Subsurface Deposits deep within Earth Learn more at: How do they do it? (5min42)


Activity 8- Discover Mining

You will do a quick internet investigation.

Click on the links below, look at the pictures & scan the content.
Strip Mining Mountain Top Removal 722 _13.html 07/

Activity 8- Discover Mining

Next go to the class Blog and reflect on the 3 questions posted.

Optional Activity 9 -Quarries Near Us

Here are some websites of quarries near us.
Google Map of Quarries in Virginia

Luck stone

Vulcan - see short video about their company

What differences did you notice between the Mountain Top Removal sites and these mining companies?

Mine Reclamation
Land must be returned to original state or better Mid 1970s

Recycle Reduce Reuse

Building Blocks of Rocks

Some minerals

Activity 10 Visit this Unique Wonderland.

Visit this cave at the link below.

Your group will draw a number and answer 1-2 of the questions on the following slide
Record your answer on the slide and we will share our information about the mine.

Questions to Answer
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Where is the mine? How old is it? How many caves? What type of mineral? How did it form? How big are the crystals? Is it open to the public? Why or why not? How was it discovered?

Activity 11 Cookie Mining

Now that you have investigated different types of mines and seen the effects of mining; you will now get to do some mining yourself. You will mine chocolate chip ores! I will dismiss your table to the back to wash your hands. Close your computer, you will not need it for the rest of the class.

Activity 12 Virtual Mineral Identification Lab

Click on the link below to begin your virtual mineral lab if you missed the hands-on lab. Record your answers on paper or a Word Doc. ce/harwoodr/geol101/labs/minerals/

Review & Practice Quizzes & Games