## Mineral Cube Project

Sample of slides of information for Wavelite by Isabella:

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This activity has become a yearly tradition and I leave the mineral cubes hanging in my classroom from May of one year to the following May, then return it them in 7th grade.

Materials:

• Google Slides Template – students will make a copy and share their slides with you. All information and images are placed inside of the 4in x 4in text box
• Students will research and work on their slides during 2-3 class periods, the rest is on their own time, including crafting and designing the mineral cube
• I give students a 6x6x6 cardboard box, but they can make one of their own out of any type of cardboard, such as cereal boxes.
• Mineral Cube Choices and Rubric Spreadsheet: Student can choose any mineral of their choice (there are over 3,000 named minerals) but their mineral has to be used for something, it can’t be a collector’s sample or very rare. We have a draft pick and no two students can have the same mineral.
• Mineral Guides:
• Websites such as:

Sample of a completed cube with information cut out and cube assembled and decorated:

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## Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining Simulation

Materials:

This is one of my favorite activities from our minerals and mining unit. It takes about 1 whole class period to explain the activity, collect data, eat the cookie (& crumbs), and clean up. We discuss our results the next class and determine who made the most profit.

When determining the value of the chocolate ore, I have the students place their chocolate pieces close together in one area of the map. When they are done, I go around and circle the area of chocolate and give their chocolate a rating. They count the number of boxes their chocolate covers and enter it into their spreadsheet.

If there are crumbs attached to the chocolate, I call that ‘slag’ and it lowers the value of the chocolate ore. This leads to a great discussion afterwards when we compare the profits and talk about land use. Is it better to get out as much chocolate as you can, even if you get a lot of slag, or is it better to remove just the chocolate even though you will have less in the end? How is this similar to coal mining? Diamond mining?

## What is a Mineral? Sorting Activity

Resources:

I use this activity as an introduction to my minerals and mining unit. Students learn the 5 properties of minerals (SNIFC) and apply them to a variety of items to categorize each item as either a mineral or non-mineral.

I also have the slides in a pdf format if you would like to have the students sort the items first, then discuss each item and why they think it is or isn’t a mineral. Then, they can view the answers afterwards.

## Minerals in your house

Materials:

• Website: Mineralogy4Kids (link) – a great website that provides students with a wealth of information on minerals.
• Handout: Minerals in your house (pdf)

I like to use the Minerals in Your House page to introduce minerals to my students and have them explore the different ways we use minerals in our everyday life. In this post I am including an updated worksheet for students to take notes while they view the website.