Making a Rocks and
Contact your local chamber of commerce or county business office to
find out if any mining or quarrying companies operate in your local
area. Get a list and contact the company in writing to ask for rock
and mineral samples. Samples of lava, marble, granite, limestone and
other rocks can be found at most garden and landscaping centers.
State Rocks and Minerals
Write or call the office of the State
Geologist and request information about rocks and minerals produced
in your state. Be sure to ask for company names and addresses so you
can write to request samples. Be sure to ask the companies to enclose
background information about what rock or mineral they are sending you,
so you can inform your students.
Assembling the Kit
Once the rock and mineral samples have arrived, be sure to mark each
mineral in a way that it can be identified to avoid confusion over similar-looking
samples. You can color-code each sample with a different color, or number
the samples with indelible ink.
Place the samples in individual zip-lock bags that are number or color-coded
the same as the sample. For instance, if you have a sample of limestone,
Mark it with a "1" or a red dot, and put a "1" or a red dot on the zip-lock
bag. Do this for all the samples.
Create a key
Using the information gained from the sample suppliers, create a one-page
key about the samples in your kit.
Information to include:
Rock type - igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary
Chemical symbol - Gold (Au), Copper (Cu), Limestone (CaCO3)
Location - where the sample is from (great for geography extension)
Uses - how the rock or mineral is used by society
Using the Kit
Now that you have assembled your kit, you can use it in many ways.
One way is to teach the "Rock Cycle" (below) which shows how rocks constantly
undergo change through weathering, erosion, melting and other processes
to form new rocks. For example, limestone, a sedimentary rock, when
heated, is changed to marble, a metamorphic rock (see Major