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Rocks, Minerals, and Mining Theme Page

This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of rocks, minerals, and mining. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.

Ask an Expert: Geology
This CLN page has buttons to experts in many different subject areas. This particular link will take you to the Science section of our page. Check out the Diamonds and Geology sections.

Athena Mineralogy
A database of mineral information accessible in a number of different ways.

British Columbia & Yukon Chamber of Mines
Lots of great information on mining in BC, and on rocks and minerals in general. We've made direct links below to some of the sections most useful to K-12 students to ensure that you don't miss them.
  • [The] Prospecting School on the Web The prospecting school is a free course offered with the purpose of providing an introduction to the study of geology and mineral deposits, as well as practical training in the identification of rocks and minerals. You can access the classnotes and a list of resources on the web.
  • Viewpoints on Native Issues This page offers a number of papers related to aboriginal land claims and mining.

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame
A database of information about key Canadian mine finders and builders - organized alphabetically or searchable by key word.

Canadian Rockhound
In this online magazine targetted to educators, beginners and hobbyists, you can learn more about rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones and Canada's geology. You can also link to Junior Rockhound which includes different sections for kids and teachers ranging from field trips and safety to geology of the earth.

Fundamentals of Physical Geography
Although this online textbook from Michael Pidwirny, Okanagan University College, is intended for postsecondary students studying introductory physical geography, much of it may be applicable for high school students as well. Contents include over two hundred pages of information, more than three hundred 2-D and animated graphics, an interactive glossary of terms, a study guide, links to other Internet resources, and a search engine. See the Table of Contents to directly access such the Geology section for several chapters dealing with rocks.

Gem Gallery
Properties and data about gemstones.

A metalist of links to Internet resources on Mining History. There are links to Featured Books, Articles of Interest, and Interesting WWW sites.

Introduction to Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
A nine part introduction to crystallography from which senior high students may derive some benefit.

Lesson, Unit, and Curriculum Plans
We were successful in finding quite a collection of instructional materials for teachers and so decided to put them altogether in one place on the page for easy location.

Mineralogy Database
Data on minerals classified in a number of ways, including by alphabet, crystallography, X-Ray powder diffraction, chemical composition, and physical and optical properties. The database contains more than 4,000 mineral species descriptions along with links to additional information.

[The] Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom
An extesnive, interactive, educational guide providing information and images on minerals and gemstones.

[The] Mineral Gallery
This commercial site provides a collection of mineral descriptions (about 400) which can be accessed alphabetically, by class, by interesting groupings (e.g., birthstones), or by a keyword search. Descriptions include a picture, its chemical composition, its structure and physical descriptions (colour, fracture, hardness, etc).

Minerals and Metals: A World to Discover
This site from National Resources Canada provides: virtual travel to communities closely associated with the production of minerals and metals; information on minerals and metals produced in Canada; a game in which students can discover how minerals and metals contribute to the quality of life; a description of the mining cycle; information on mineral exploration and the mining industry; details about careers in the mining industry; links to other educational resources, and a glossary.

Petrographic Workshop
"Petrographic Workshop is an interactive database designed to help students and teachers better deal with the important and challenging discipline of petrography. The program is designed as a source of mineralogical information used in the identification process of rocks and minerals. The program consists of detailed textual information and microscopic images of hundreds of rocks and minerals. This program can be used as an interactive database or as a teacher designed laboratory workshop."

Rockhounds with Rocky
This is a web-based activity for K-12 students through which they will gain an understanding of the rock cycle including how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form. There's also a lesson plan for teachers to tie all the activities together.

Rock Identification Science Project
Students are shown magnifiable thumbnail pictures of 12 rocks. After looking at the results of three different tests on the rock, they are challenged to identify the rock.

Rock My World
A three week teaching unit from the Core Knowledge web site for Grade 4 students that covers rocks as well as the composition of the earth, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, and Earth's surface changes. Plenty of suggested student activities are provided within the unit.

Rockology 101
Rogers Group, a highway construction and rock quarry company, provides a site with information about rocks and minerals, the mining process, how these materials affect your life, and the highway construction industry. There are also fun activities associated with the word "rock".

Rocks and Minerals Page
Keith Kostek, a teacher from Edmonton Alberta, created this page for other elementary teachers as a source of background information and lesson plans. He also provides links to rocks and minerals web sites for kids.

Rocks and Minerals Solitaire
Instructions for an educational card game for junior and senior high school students in which they learn to classify a rock/mineral by matching the rock/mineral to its corresponding category and classification.

Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection
Brief descriptions and pictures of about 50 gems and minerals from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Thematic Unit Rocks and Minerals
A series of suggested activities for primary students so that they can "expand their knowledge of rocks by exploring the characteristics of local rocks."

TrackStar is an online interface which allows instructors to create lessons for students by sequencing existing instructional content in various web sites within a lesson. Students explore one topic at a particular location within one web site then move on to the next topic at another web site. The list of topics remains visible throughout the lesson so that students can remain on track. Explorations of the web sites beyond the designated instructional content are also possible.

This link is to their search page from where a keyword search on "rock or mineral or mining" (for example) will produce numerous hits. Caution #1: Many of the web sites that these lessons access will already be on this CLN page - it's the creation of lesson objectives and the sequencing of the tours through the sites that make the lesson potentially useful to your students. Caution #2: The quality of the lessons (e.g., definining objectives, finding web sites, sequencing the tours) will vary widely within the TrackStar collection.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Rocks, Minerals, and Mining. For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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