Teach the Earth > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Ore Minerals

Ore Minerals

Dexter Perkins
University of North Dakota
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the 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: Aug 7, 2006


Introduction to sulfides and other ore 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 21st of 36 mineralogy exercises and is used around the middle of the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Learn to identify key ore minerals in hand specimen.

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

This three part lab introduces sulfides and other ore minerals.

  • Part one - Ore Minerals: Students fill in a table giving the metal, formula, and mineral group of several ore minerals.
  • Part two - Box of Rocks: Students examine trays of ore minerals and record their physical properties, composition, habit, occurence, economic value, and use and answer questions about color, luster, density, transparency, and availability.
  • Part three - Famous Digs: Students answer a series of questions related to famous ore deposits.

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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