Name that Natural Resource Clues


  1. I am made of silica and am very porous. I form from volcanic eruptions and am so light I can float in water. I'm ground up and used in abrasive cleansers, soaps, and polishes. I am also excellent for fireproofing and heat insulation. What am I?
  2. I am a very soft mineral and rich in magnesium and silica. I have a soapy feel and I am often green. I am used in baby powder and lipstick. What am I?
  3. I come in many colors. Although I have a cubic crystal structure, I tend to break into octahedrons. My name stems from the Latin word fluere meaning to flow in reference to my low melting point and use as a flux in the smelting of metals. It might surprise you that I have weak fluorescence. What am I?
  4. Tuesday

  5. I am a hydrocarbon that exists as a gas or vapor at ordinary pressures and temperatures. There are many types of me, but methane is most important. I am used to make energy for people. What am I?
  6. I am hydrous calcium sulfate. I am a soft mineral used in wall board and plaster in the construction industry. While you might find me in your walls, would you have ever guessed that I am also used as an additive to cake mixes, breads, and rolls? What am I?
  7. I am a soft mineral with a distinct yellow color. Some people say I smell like rotten eggs, but nonetheless, I am used to make rubber, matches, paper, photographs, and I am also in soaps and detergents. What am I?
  8. Wednesday

  9. I am made of calcium carbonate and can be white, clear, yellow, pink, or blue. I am used in toothpaste, vinyl, chalk, glass, fiberglass, and to coat many chewing gums. What am I?
  10. I am a soft aluminum silicate clay mineral. I tend to absorb moisture and provide resistance to oil from the skin. This is why I am the main ingredient for face masks used for deep cleaning. What am I?
  11. I am made of iron, titanium, and oxygen. I am black and have a high specific gravity. I am used to make titanium dioxide, which brightens and intensifies colors and provides whiteness and opacity. I am used to make blush, nail polish, lotion, lipstick, powders, Oreo cookies, M&Ms, spacecraft, and airplanes! What am I?
  12. Thursday

  13. I am a mixture of aluminous hydroxide minerals. I am found in soil formed from the weathering of aluminum-bearing bedrock in tropical climates. I am used in antiperspirant. What am I?
  14. I am a native element. I am virtually immune to the effects of air, water, and oxygen. I do not rust, tarnish, or corrode, and I am an excellent transmitter of electricity and heat. One ounce of me can be drawn into a wire five miles long. I'm found in nearly all reliable electronic products. What am I?
  15. I am a white mineral made of sodium chloride. I have been used for thousands of years as a medium of trade or payment as implied in the word "salary." If you look closely at me, you will see that I have a cubic crystal habit. What am I?
  16. Friday

  17. I am a naturally occurring complex liquid hydrocarbon. After I have been distilled and my impurities have been removed I make many different products that people use, from fuels to lubricants. Everybody wants me so they search for me everywhere from Texas to the Middle East. What am I?
  18. I am a sulfate mineral. I can be white, gray, or black. My high specific gravity makes me useful as a weighing ingredient in the foam backing for floor mats and as the basis for drilling mud in the exploration of oil, natural gas, water, and minerals. I am also used in bowling balls. What am I?
  19. I am a black rock made from plant materials compacted for a very long time. I am used to make energy. I am made of carbon so some people have nicknamed me black diamond. What am I?

Earth Science Week Connections

Discover the Earth Sciences

Did you know that natural resources are so important to daily life? Make a list of all the natural resources (from the list of 15) you had heard of before this activity and a list of all the natural resources that you just learned about this week.


Invite a physical geologist to speak to the class about how rocks are classified and what physical property tests are used for rocks as opposed to minerals.


Do you think there is any danger that we may run out of any of these resources that are so important to daily life? What do you think is a possible solution to this problem?

Earth Science is all around you

Think about all you did today. Did you use any rocks or minerals? Remember that rocks and minerals are part of everything from cosmetics to food to bicycles. Make a list of all the things you used today that have rocks or minerals in them.