Teaching MARGINS Mini Lessons in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Robert J. Stern, U Texas at Dallas

About this Course

Upper Division majors course


Two 75 minute
one 3-hour lab
per week

UTD GEOS 3464 Syllabus (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 32kB Oct5 15)

I use this minilesson to reinforce student learning about convergent margin igneous activity and how both visual examination of volcanic rocks and using major element analyses are useful for characterizing these rocks and understanding the processes that formed them.

Mini Lesson(s) Adopted and/or Adapted in this course

Central American Arc Volcanoes, Petrology, and Geochemistry

Relationship of Mini Lesson(s) to my Course

I follow Blatt et al. closely in teaching this course (Petrology: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic by Harvey Blatt, Robert Tracy, and Brent Owens (2006). The minilesson is used after we have gone over Blatt Ch. 9 "Igneous Rocks of Convergent Margins; I use two lectures to go over these materials.

Teaching Details

I use two lecture periods and one lab for the minilesson. I make copies of handout 1 (except for first two pages; I recommend handing out printed copies p. 3-10) for students to read before first minilesson is presented in lecture. In first lecture, I distribute copies of handouts 2 and 3, go over these briefly, then show the powerpoint "CAVA Petrologic Overview". There are 65 slides in the powerpoint and for most classes it would be best to delete some of the material, but don't delete the rocks and thin sections slides, these are needed for the exercises in Handout 3. It is useful to show thin sections and have class as group estimate mineral proportions. Handout 2 provides context for the exercise and students should read this first, then do the exercises in Handout 3. Handout 3 should be turned in and graded.


Handout 3 is graded.