Introduction to Mineral Identification
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 15, 2010
"How do I start?" Students are often stymied when faced with a box of minerals to identify. Although we give a careful lecture and demonstration, they still don't know where to start once the box is on the table. The following exercise uses an inquiry-based approached to overcome the fear of tackling mineral identification. Few instructions are given and students discover for themselves how to approach identification. This activity is followed by a standard lecture on the physical properties of minerals and a traditional mineral identification lab.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
The idea for this activity was inspired by an exercise in Todd, Investigations in Physical Science (Exp. 25), Saunders Pub., 1991.