Metamorphic Rocks Lab
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review 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 https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.
This page first made public: Dec 23, 2008
- Define metamorphic rocks, describe how they are classified, and give several examples;
- Describe the factors that influence the composition and appearance of metamorphic rocks, and how those factors vary within the earth's crust;
- Describe how metamorphism and tectonics are related;
- Make observations using a hand lens and document their observations through writing and sketching;
- Use what they have learned about igneous and sedimentary rocks in order to make statements about how these rocks change during metamorphism.
Context for Use
This activity was designed as the main metamorphic rock lesson. It follows igneous and sedimentary rock classification and identification. In the class preceding this activity, students learn about regional deformation (folds and faults) by looking at geologic maps.
Pieces of this activity may be used on their own in a different setting, but access to appropriate rock and mineral samples is essential.
Description and Teaching Materials
Student Handout (KEY) (Microsoft Word 60kB Jul9 08)
Choreography for class (Microsoft Word 45kB Jul9 08)
Metamorphic Mineral Data Sheet (Microsoft Word 39kB Jul9 08)
Metamorphic Rocks Terms and Concepts (before class) (Microsoft Word 26kB Jul9 08)
Students are assigned a reading on metamorphic rocks to be completed before class. They are given a list of terms to pay attention to while reading.
The in-class activity is described for the students in the Student Handout. They are also given a mineral data sheet to record their observations. An example of the "choreography" for a 1 hr and 50 min class is provided with suggestions for background material to cover during the activity.
Students identify metamorphic rocks and answer questions about them on an exam.
References and Resources
Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks by Stephen A. Nelson, Tulane University