Cutting Edge > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Physical Properties of Minerals and Determinative Techniques

Physical Properties of Minerals and Determinative Techniques

Ken Bladh
,
Wittenberg University
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This activity was peer reviewed prior to publication in the Teaching Mineralogy Workbook.

This teaching activity was originally published in: Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp. All teaching activities in this volume received two external peer reviews from mineralogy faculty focused on content and pedagogy, and a final review by the co-editors to comply with the publication standards of the Mineralogical Society of America.



This page first made public: May 9, 2008

Summary

This activity uses cooperative learning to identify minerals in hand sample based on physical properties. The "Jigsaw" pedagogy upon which this lab is based provides the environment for four succeeding labs in which the students learn the megascopic characteristic properties, chemical composition, and a geologic significance for each of approximately 100 minerals.

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Context

Audience

This activity is designed for an undergraduate required course in mineralogy and is generally for sophomore or junior level students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Physical geology

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone exercise, but is part of a larger volume of classroom and laboratory activities from "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997,406 pp.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity allows students to:

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity strengthens student skills in:

Other skills goals for this activity

This activity uses aa Jigsaw pedagogy to strengthen students' abitlity to:

Description of the activity/assignment

This activity uses cooperative learning to identify minerals in hand sample based on physical properties. The "Jigsaw" pedagogy upon which this lab is based provides the environment for four succeeding labs in which the students learn the megascopic characteristic properties, chemical composition, and a geologic significance for each of approximately 100 minerals.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Each student is graded on the total lab report, his or her original work and that of classmates. If experts present wrong information, all who accept that data are penalized. This strategy reinforces the learner's responsibility to ask constructive questions of experts when the information doesn't make sense. Each student can also be graded individually on the portion of the exercise for which he was responsible. Once students accept their mutual dependence and stop competing with one another, the class room atmosphere becomes very supportive.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, Teaching Mineralogy, a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp.

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