Mineral Selfie

Stefany Sit (ssit@uic.edu), Caitlin Boblitt (cbobli2@uic.edu)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Author Profile


Students identify minerals used in their everyday lives by taking a 'selfie' with the product and then sharing their photo with their fellow students on a class blog.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



This assignment could be used in an introductory undergraduate course for non-majors. This activity can be scaled for small to very large enrollment courses.

This assignment can scale up to large enrollment courses.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should be familiar with some minerals and their basic physical properties

How the activity is situated in the course

I implement this activity after we have discussed minerals in lecture and lab. I typically use it as an extra credit assignment.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students will be able to identify minerals that are used in everyday products.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students will be able to identify how minerals impact their everyday lives.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students will have fun and socially connect with other students in class.

Description of the activity/assignment

I developed this assignment to engage students with geoscience content and explore how minerals impact their everyday lives. Minimal time is needed to implement this assignment.

Assignment Instructions:

For this assignment you will need to take a "selfie" with an everyday product or item that contains a mineral. In our Class Discussion Blog you will POST YOUR PICTURE and write your mineral description. Be sure to also include IDENTIFICATION INFO in your post:

1. Mineral Name and Chemical Composition

2. Physical Properties (Hardness, Luster, Cleavage, etc.)

3. Which rocks and/or type of environment might this mineral be found in?

4. How is the mineral being used in the product?

Once a mineral has been identified by a student in your lab section you can NO longer choose/identify that mineral, SO the earlier you complete this assignment the easier it will be for you. You could take a picture of a rock like granite but you will still need to identify a specific mineral in that rock.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Class discussion is used afterward to see if students can identify what and how a mineral is being used in different objects.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials