Metamorphic Rocks and Minerals

Dexter Perkins
University of North Dakota
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This exercise is an introduction to the most important metamorphic rocks and minerals.

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This exercise is designed for a mid/upper-level undergraduate geology course on the principles of mineralogy.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have knowledge of basic chemistry and of minerals equivalent to what they would learn in an introductory geology class.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is the 19th of 36 mineralogy exercises and is used around the middle of the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Learn to identify key metamorphic minerals and rocks in hand specimen and thin section.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • Identify key properties useful for mineral identification.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

In this three-part exercise, students study hand samples and thin sections of important metamorphic rocks and minerals.

  • Part one - Box of Rocks: Students examine trays of metamorphic rocks and minerals and record their physical properties, composition, and habit. They note chemical and physical similarities and differences and identify the rock samples and minerals they contain.
  • Part two - Definitions: Define a list of terms relevent to the lab.
  • Part three - Minerals in Thin Section: Observe minerals in thin section and answer questions about them.

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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