Special Study – Minerals

Natural bodies are divided into three kingdomes of nature: viz. the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. Minerals grow, Plants grow and live, Animals grow, live, and have feeling. — Carolus Linnaeus, (1735)

Where to look for books in your library: J 552 primarily

True Book of Rocks and Minerals by Illa Podendorf (48 p.)
Rocks and Minerals by Lou Williams Page (32 p.)
The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky (IP, PB, gr. 3-6, 48 p.)
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky (IP, gr. 9+, 496 p.)
Salt by Augusta Goldin (LRFO)

Field Guide:
A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Frederick H. Pough

Teacher background: HoNS*
Rocks and Minerals, p. 743-744
Minerals, p. 750-759

Object Lessons, choose from the following:

  1. Grow [LARGE]Alum crystals over the whole term. (Here’s how we did it.)
  2. HoNS 
    1. Lesson 211, Crystal Growth, p. 752
    2. Lesson 212, Salt, p. 753
    3. Lesson 213, Quarts, p. 755
    4. Lesson 214, Feldspar, p. 758
    5. Lesson 215, Mica, p. 758
  3. Janice VanCleave’s Earth Science for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave (chapter 2 only.) The following specific lessons would be good:
    1. Lesson 8. Salty, p. 24: To determine how salt beds are formed.
    2. Lesson 9. Needles, p. 26: To demonstrate how crystals form.
    3. Lesson 10. Deposits, p. 28: To demonstrate the formation of caliche deposits
    4. Lesson 11. Dripper, p. 30: To demonstrate the formation of stalagmites and stalactites.
    5. Lesson 12. Bubbles, p. 32: To demonstrate a positive test for limestone.
    6. Lesson 13. Spoon Pen, p. 34: To demonstrate a mineral streak test.
    7. Lesson 14. Crunch, p. 36: To demonstrate the formation of metamorphic rocks.
  4. Mineral Investigation Labs (for MS or HS)
  5. Adventures with Rocks and Minerals: Geology experiments for young people by Lloyd Barrow
  6. Break Your Own Geode *Is a geode a rock or a mineral?
  7. Make your own rock candy
  8. Place a small drop of various mineral solutions on microscope slides, then look at them through a microscope when they have crystalized. (see pictures below)

Other Resources:
Mindat.org – the world’s largest public database of mineral information with an army of worldwide volunteers adding and verifying new information daily. (Click on Advanced Search and then enter your state or county to search your “locality”.)

Rock and Mineral Playing Cards

*Note: HoNS = Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock

**Note: When you are studying “earth science” you will encounter more explanations of the evolutionary theory than when you are studying botany or elephants, for example. Older books have less inclusion of this perspective usually. My guiding line is that they not mock or attack the young earth view point. We can have a conversation about “millions of years”.

The following resources might be useful:

Creation.com – Engineer Goes Back to School: Don Batten chats with geologist Dr Tas Walker (Flood model solves geological puzzles)
Answers In Genesis – Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating (video)
Dr. Ron Carlson – Origins (video, covers carbon dating)
  Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 1
  Dinosaurs, Flood Pt 2

Natural History Rotation
Natural History: Implementing Special Studies (full explanation)
Implementing Special Studies – An Outline

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