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Rocks and Minerals

What is a rock?
At first this seems like an easy question. We see rocks every day. But have you ever thought about them (besides when you stub your toe?) Each rock is like reading a story. By studying them we can learn about how the Earth's crust is formed.

A rock is a mixture of one or more minerals and sometimes organic matter (something that was once living). Some rocks are shiny, some are flat and dull, and others are very compact. Analyzing these differences can help us understand how they were formed.


So a Rock is a mixture or combination of minerals.

Reminder! Rocks are made of one or more minerals. Keep reading to learn more!

The mineral quartz can break down into grains of sand. These grains are then cemented to form a new kind of rock. Do you know what that rock type is? (Drag your mouse over the photograph to see an example of something it changes into.)
Hematite already inside the earth comes out of the earth in a lava flow. As the lava cools, it becomes solid and forms the mineral hematite in the rock. (Drag your mouse over the photograph to see an example of basalt.)
Calcite is found in many things such as: seashells, bones and the rock. It changes into marble.(Drag your mouse over the photograph to see an example of marble.)
These three minerals are also found inside the earth. As the magma slowly cools in the earth these minerals form crystals to make a rock called granite.(Drag your mouse over the photograph to review how granite is formed.)
Visit Pioneer Library and search for the e-Media video "Geologists Notebook: How to Make a Mud Pie."

Review Science safetey rules here.

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 8th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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