Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Weathering of Minerals

Weathering of Minerals

Wendy Van Norden

Harvard-Westlake School
Author Profile

This activity has benefited from a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop. Workshop participants were provided with a set of criteria against which they evaluated each others' activities. After the review, the authors developed a plan for revising their activities based on the feedback they received from their peers. To learn more about this review process, see http://serc.carleton.edu/quantskills/review_processes.html#2006.

This page first made public: Jul 26, 2006


Students determine the % change in mass of mineral samples that have been placed in a rock tumbler. They graph the relationship between the hardness of the mineral and the % change in mass. They then consider why some of the mineral samples do not conform the the relationship they graphed. They investigate the physical properties of the outliers and consider how the physical properties contributed to the rate of weathering, and what kind of weathering occurred in the rock tumbler.

Learning Goals

The goal is to promote understanding of physical and chemical weathering and the physical properties of minerals that affect the rate of weathering.
Graphing and analysis of graphs
Massing and simple calculations

Context for Use

Introductory geology- taught to high school students.
Graphing on Excel, understanding of the physical properties of minerals, kinds of kinds of mechanical and chemical weathering.
It is included in a unit on weathering and sedimentary rocks.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Instructor's Notes (Microsoft Word 25kB Jun8 11)

Teaching Materials


Student hand in their lab for a grade.

References and Resources

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Mineralogy:Physical Properties, Geoscience:Geology:Sedimentary Geology:Weathering
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level
Quantitative Skills: Graphs, Algebra
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Earth System Topics: Solid Earth:Earth Materials:Rocks, Minerals
Topics: Earth surface
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Minerals, Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Sedimentary Geology, Mineralogy

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