This exercise involves identifying symmetry in crystals and using that information to assign crystals to crystal systems and point groups.
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 26th of 36 mineralogy exercises and is used towards the end of the course.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Become familiar with the crystal systems and the 32 point groups.
- Be able to assign crystals to the correct crystal systems and point groups.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Learn identification, analysis, and application of abstract properties (symmetry) useful for mineral identifictation.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
This exercise involves identifying symmetry in crystals and using that information to assign crystals to crystal systems and point groups. Students examine cardboard models and wooden blocks and fill their symmetry elements into a table. Then they figure out what what crystal system and point group each sample belongs to and fill in another table.
Determining whether students have met the goalsMore information about assessment tools and techniques.
Teaching materials and tips
This assignment can be downloaded in pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 300kB Jul7 05) format.