Ask-A-Geologist Q&A #18: How Do I Teach Rock and Mineral Identification When I’m Not a Geologist?

Help, I have to teach rock and mineral identification.

Homeschooling mom, Sandra, asked how she can teach rock and mineral identification when she is not a geologist. Our new bookHelp, I Have to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification and I’m Not a Geologist!” is here to help. In this book, we break down all of the details you need to teach rock and mineral identification to elementary, middle, and high school students.

Today’s question came from Sandra. She’s a homeschooling mom who wanted to know, “How do I teach rock and mineral identification to my kids when I’m not a geologist?” Well, Sandra, I think I have something that can help you.

How to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification at Home or in the Classroom

Help, I Have to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification and I'm Not a Geologist!

Our latest book is called “Help, I Have to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification, and I’m Not a Geologist,” and we wrote this with you in mind. And, all of those teachers and homeschool parents out there have to teach rock and mineral identification to their elementary, middle, and high school kids, and they don’t have a geology or science background.

Well, you don’t really need all the geology background as long as you have this book that gives you the details on all of the crucial things that kids need to know in order to identify the basic names of different rocks and different minerals that you might find around your area.

How to Use this Book to Help You Teach Rock and Mineral Identification

We’ve set this book up for several different sections. The first section goes through basic tools that a geologist might use to identify a rock or mineral. It gives a lot of information on household items that you can use to help them identify the name of a different rock or mineral. This section also gives a basic understanding of how to perform an experiment and how to use that information to determine the name of your rock or mineral.

The second through fifth sections discuss minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks. Finally, you’ll round out this book with a discussion of the rock cycle. In each of these sections, you will get a detailed understanding of the properties of different minerals and rocks, how to tell them apart from one another, and the steps that you can go through with your kids to learn what a different mineral or rock sample might be.

In the back of the book, we have flow charts and property record information sheets that the kids can use to write down different properties of their samples to help identify them. For older kids, we also have a whole set of flashcards that has information about different mineral and rock types and different things that they might want to know. This section is also good for the younger kids because it gives you common locations where you might find the samples and their uses. It also gives you some fun features, so once you walk them through the flow charts to figure out the name of their samples, you can go to the other sections and find out more interesting information.

Use Any Rocks and Minerals You Have on Hand with this Book

Now, one thing we did with this book is we designed it to work with whatever rocks you have on hand, so our flow charts and our information cards have most of the general, most common minerals and rocks that you’re going to find in your area, or you might find in a local rock shop. So you can definitely use the things that you have on hand with this book. You don’t need to go out and buy a brand new set of rocks and minerals unless you want to, and hopefully, this book will work really well for you.

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