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:

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

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining Simulation

cookiemining
Cookie Mining – with an example of cookies used for the activity.

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?

cookiemining2
Students try different techniques to extract the chocolate.
cookiemining3
Cookie blasting – extracting as much chocolate as you can in 5 minutes.

 

What is a Mineral? Sorting Activity

 

rhodochrosite
Source: Minerals 4 Kids

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

Mineralogy 4 Kids - Minerals in your house
Mineralogy 4 Kids – 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.