Leçon #1: Mineral identification:

This activity could be done using the mineral cards and a set of xx samples

Materials: Variety of minerals (see list below), penny, a porcelain plate, a glass plate and the mineral identification cards.

Preparation: Prepare 6 stations. Each station consists of a set of 3 or more minerals, grouped to accentuate one of the main mineral characteristics.


  1. Gather children into one large group.
  2. Hold two very different minerals (example quartz and malachite) up for the children to see. Ask the children to please tell you all the ways that they know of to identify these two minerals. List these on a piece of large chart paper.
  3. Next, ask the children to tell you how you can tell if one mineral is harder than the other. Listen to the children’s ideas, and test any of their hypotheses. These tests should include scratching the mineral with finger nail, a penny or try to scratch a glass plate with the mineral.
  4. Write the following on the board:
  5. Explain and demonstrate what each of the numbers mean. Also talk about safety precautions. When a child tests a rock, and it makes a mark with one tool, but not with the one above it, the child is to place the rock on the number that matches the tool that marked the rock.
  6. Explain and demonstrate how to do streak test using the porcelain plate.
  7. Explain the difference between crystal form and cleavage.
  8. Divide students into six groups (one group per station)
  9. Provide them with 15 minutes for this exploration time.
  10. Have the class go from station to station.
  11. Gather for a whole group discussion.

Station 1
(streak plate and magnet)

Magnetite – Ilmenite – Chromite
All these minerals look alike. Using a magnet and a streak plate, find out what is different between them. Using the mineral cards, identify the minerals.
Station 2
(specific gravity or density)

Halite – Quartz - Galena
Take each of the mineral in your hand; can you feel the difference between them? Using the mineral cards, identify the minerals.
Station 3

Chalcopyrite – Chrysotile – Diopside
Describe the luster of each of these minerals. Try to identify the mineral using your mineral cards.
Station 4

Quartz – Calcite – Microcline
Cleavage is the plane of weakness where crystals will break. Describe the difference in cleavage of these 3 minerals. Can you identify them with your minerals cards?
Station 5

Talc – Apatite – Corundum
Using your finger nails, a copper penny and a glass plate, classify these minerals from softer to harder.
Station 6
(Color and crystal shape)

Malachite – Labradorite – Tourmaline – Fluorite – Garnet – Biotite - Pyrite
Use the crystal form and color of those minerals to identify them. You can use your mineral cards to help you.

Lesson #2: Chalk Painting | Lesson #3: Growing Crystals

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