Lesson Plan

Mineral Exploration

Exploring properties of minerals and why minerals matter
Kelly S.
Classroom teacher
Boone Trail Elementary School
Wentzville, MO
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Arts

Students will be able to...

  • List different properties of minerals (ex: hardness, streak, density, etc.)
  • Describe the process of testing different properties to classify minerals
  • Identify research questions about a topic
  • Create a presentation to share detailed information about one or more minerals
rocks and minerals
Grades 4 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introductory Video- BrainPop

From $220

Introduce the lesson and topic by showing the BrainPop "Mineral Identification" video.  Discuss student questions, take the quiz along with the video (optional), and clarify any confusing points. Most students will likely have little background knowledge about the topic.

Explain that students will be exploring more about finding and testing minerals, then conducting research to learn more details about one mineral.

2 Master Mines Game- Guided Practice

Activity: Exploring

Direct students to the game.  http://gated.jason.org/digital_library/cfy/9576.aspx 

Introduce the game concept: You will choose a character to explore mines around the world and bring mineral samples back to your lab. In the lab, you will carry out a series of tests to determine the unique properties of the mineral you have found. Once you know the properties, you can work through questions to identify the mineral and its uses.

Assist students as they play the game. The trickiest part for many students is in identifying the actual mineral and its uses.  To complete the entire game will take most students about one hour.

3 Research Preparation

Activity: Conversing

Students will be selecting a mineral to research and present to classmates. Discuss what types of questions will make quality research presentations. You may want to let students select their own questions, or provide a list of questions. (Good starters: List 3 properties, tell where it is found, tell how it is used.)

Teacher needs to prepare a list of common minerals, digitally or on slips of paper, for students to choose from.  After students select their mineral, they begin their research.

4 Research

Monitor students as they search to locate answers to their mineral questions.  Due to the nature of the subject, it may take teacher help to narrow down search results to locate student-friendly sites and information.

Have students record their research and sources in a Google Doc.

5 Independent Presentation Creation

Teacher setup: Create an assignment in Google Classroom where students can create and/or turn in their research presentation.

(Note: This could also be completed using any other presentation software and turn-in method of choice.)

Using their research, have students go to Google Classroom and create a presentation (Google Slides), The presentation should represent all of the identified questions, include images, cite resources, and be organized into a cohesive product.

When finished, have students turn in their project. To share with classmates, they could have a gallery walk time, post links to view in Google Classroom, or present on a projected computer.