We’re finishing up the Intellego Geology chapters on Minerals and Rocks this week, just in time for Alex’s spring break. The curriculum encourages doing some kind of response activity at the end of each section. For rocks and minerals, Alex is working on a “museum exhibit” of rocks that we’ve collected. We’re making label cards for each rock, with the identification (if possible) or whatever we can deduce about the rock. I am writing the label cards to Alex’s dictation, because I want her to concentrate on providing good content rather than on being extra-concise so she won’t have to write as much.
We’re finding two resources enormously helpful with this project. Don Peck’s rock identification key can be found on the website of the Mineralogical Society of America. For our purposes, this key is far superior to the other ones online because (a) its descriptions are extremely clear for non-experts, and (b) it is limited to common rocks you are actually likely to find. (I can’t tell you how many times we’ve tried to work our way through a mineral identification key only to be told that we are supposedly holding a rare mineral found only in South Africa, or something.)
We’re also using the Audubon Society’s First Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals. This is another extremely clear guide, with great pictures and descriptions of different types of rocks.