Lesson PowerPoint - Lewiston School District


BIG IDEA: Rocks and minerals have properties that can be: observed, tested, described, identified and recorded.

o o o o

What does the object look like?

Where have you seen it before?

What is it used for?

What do you think it is?

Mr. Maxwell brought in a bag of 24 rocks and minerals summer vacation. He would really like to know what type of earth materials he found, but his friend who is a geologist at Lewis Clark State College has been very busy and unable to look at the collection. The geologist said that if we could describe the properties of each material, he could assist us with more information on how to properly identify them. The geologist also loaned our principal some hand lenses so Maxwell would like to have this information by the end of football game on Friday.

What did the principal bring for us to study?

What does he want us to know?

When does the principal need this information?

What is the problem in this investigation?

How can we…

  How would you describe an object?

What kinds of words are used to describe an object?

 When you describe an object, what are some characteristics, or properties, of that object that you might name?

I will pick an object in the classroom and describe some properties of that object. You will try and guess what object I’m describing.

Word Wall: Property A characteristic of a material, something that you can observe, such as shape, color, temperature and smell.

Now that you have a Focus Question written in your notebook you will have to discuss with your group how you plan to solve it.

I have here an example of the rocks and minerals you will work with. Think of the characteristics you could use to describe their properties.

Prediction Starters: I think that if we_____________, then we could ________________



Discuss with your group how to design a data organizing table to record the list of properties for each of the rocks and minerals. Keep in mind the total number of minerals we have to check. I want you to think of a title for this table. Be ready to share your ideas with the class.

Specimen #

Rock and Mineral Properties

Color Shape Texture Odor Other

Many of you have recognized that some of the specimens look the same throughout, while others look like mixtures of different materials. Your collection contains many different earth materials, some of which are rocks and some are minerals.

Word Wall: Mineral A nonliving, solid substance found in nature; it is not made by humans. A mineral has the same chemical make-up and structure no matter where it is found.

Word Wall: Rock A naturally occurring solid material that usually contains a mixture of different minerals and other materials.

Word Wall: Fossil Fossils contain evidence of an organism that lived a long time ago and was preserved in rock.

How do we know that rocks and minerals have distinct properties?