Rocks and Minerals
Age 8-10: Concept 3 - Similarities and Differences: Unit 2

Examine the similarities and differences between rocks and minerals utilizing streak, acid, hardness, and magnetic tests. Create your own crystals, identify minerals on labels, and gather rocks from your area. Simulate the role of an archeologist, looking at different types of fossils and then going on your own dinosaur dig.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit Holes.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books at a 4th or 5th grade reading level
  • Able to write an organized paragraph
  • Usually used by children in fourth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Mineral Madness (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Rocks Rock! (3 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Fun with Rocks
  • Lesson 4: Crystals (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Volcanoes and Earthquakes (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Fun with Fossils (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Paleontologist RAFT

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Make oral and written presentations using visual aids with an awareness of purpose and audience. (Language Arts)
  • Use planning strategies to generate topics and organize ideas (e.g., brainstorming, mapping, webbing, reading, discussion). (Language Arts)
  • Communicate the uses of rocks and minerals. (Science)
  • Conduct tests, compare data, and draw conclusions about physical properties of matter. (Science)
  • Describe and evaluate the properties of earth materials. (Science)
  • Describe and evaluate the properties of several minerals. (Science)
  • Discuss the uses of rocks and minerals. (Science)
  • Draw conclusions about past events using fossils or charts and tables. (Science)
  • Explain how rocks are composed of minerals. (Science)
  • Identify and analyze forces that cause change in landforms over time. (Science)
  • Identify and describe the importance of earth materials, including rocks. (Science)
  • Identify effects of events and long-term changes including growth, erosion, dissolving, weathering, and flow. (Science)
  • Recognize that minerals have a chemical composition and structure, resulting in specific physical properties including hardness, streak color, and magnetism. (Science)
  • Show that different rocks and minerals have different properties. (Science)
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