Teach the Earth > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Symmetry Summary

Symmetry Summary

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


This summary exercise involves crystal system and point group identification and stereo diagram construction.

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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 29th of 36 mineralogy exercises and is used towards the end of the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Be able to identify symmetry.
  • Become familiar with the crystal systems and the 32 point groups and be able to assign crystals to the correct ones.
  • Be able to construct stereo diagrams for crystals of different shapes.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • Describe real objects (crystals) with abstract concepts such as symmetry and stereo diagrams.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

This summary exercise involves crystal system and point group identification and stereo diagram construction. Students are presented with 5 blocks and for each block they must determine it's point group and crystal system, make stereo diagrams showing all symmetry and faces, and draw the blocks by hand or with SHAPE and label the Miller Indices.

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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