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Rocks and minerals have
properties that can be: observed,
tested, described, identified and
Mr. Maxwell gave the information you collected describing the
physical properties of our rocks and minerals to his geologist
friend last week. He was very impressed with your work and has
provided us with more information and materials to help us
further identify them. Since many of the materials in our
collection share similar properties, he said we need to carry out
some more investigations. One of the ways geologists identify
rocks is by determining which earth processes were involved in
the rocks formation and by dissecting them to identify the
minerals and other components that make them up. The geologist
has asked if we could investigate the earth processes by which
rocks are formed and use the materials he sent us to make our
own rocks. In a few weeks he will send us more information to
help us identify the minerals and components that make up our
What does the geologist want us to do?
What did he give us to help?
What is the problem in this investigation?
How can we determine the ______________?
How are we going to _____________?
I think that ______________ because ________.
I think we can build our on rocks by _________
because ____________.
To investigate how rocks are formed we are
going to add some new words to our word wall
and look at some printed material that our
geologist has sent us. Each of the rocks in Mr.
Maxwell’s collection can be grouped by how
they were formed.
Word Wall: Sedimentary Rock
Rocks that are made from sediments (minerals, pieces of other rocks) the
sediment has accumulated in layers that have been squeezed and cemented
together over time to form a solid material.
Word Wall: Igneous Rock
Rocks that are formed when melted molten material from inside the
earth cools and hardens.
Word Wall: Metamorphic Rock
Rocks made of minerals from igneous, sedimentary, and other metamorphic
rock that have been changed and combined by extremely high temperature
and pressure.
Word Wall: Petrifaction
To become petrified or fossilized, the remains of the living material have
been replaced with minerals and other chemicals.
Read about the different types of rocks
(sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic) on
pages 9-12 in your Delta Science book. Take notes
on what you learned and be prepared to share
with the class.
Geologists know that rocks form naturally on
earth by which processes?
We cannot re-create the process by which
rocks are formed naturally on earth, but we
can use materials to simulate the formation of
rocks. For this activity we are going to use
minerals and other earth materials to make a
sedimentary rock. The rock will form by a
process called cementation.
Materials for each group:
Plastic tray
6 Tbsp clay
4 Tbsp gravel
2 Tbsp sand
2 Tbsp talk
½ Tbsp salt
12 Tbsp alum
One cup of water with 2-4 Tbsp water
1 tongue depressor
1 of each mystery mineral per rock made
Gather the proper amount of each sediment material in your plastic
Using the tongue depressor, mix the sediments and add just enough water
so the mixture resembles cookie dough
Divide the mixture into 4 rocks
Add and bury the mineral/fossil materials in each individual rock
Mold the dough into a rock and place group rocks on a plastic tray
Place the tray in an undisturbed location until you are ready to begin lesson
9 (rock dissection and identification).