In Rocks & Resources, students study the rock cycle and learn characteristics of the three basic rock types. They learn and observe properties of minerals, including hardness and fluorescence, in more detail. They review examples of how rocks and minerals are used as nonrenewable resources. They review different types of mining and learn why mining is essential to civilization. They also learn how it affects the environment, using Picher, Oklahoma, as a case study. Finally, they look at potential future mining trends including deep-sea mining.
- Describe the rock cycle.
- Identify and compare characteristics of the three rock types.
- Distinguish among rocks, minerals, and ores.
- Identify properties of minerals and fluorescent minerals.
- Use Mohs’ hardness test to determine mineral hardness.
- Explore uses of rocks, minerals, and metals as nonrenewable resources.
- Describe types of mining, including undersea mining.
- Review environmental impacts of mining.
Students complete three performance assessments: 1) Rocks and Minerals – name and identify examples of the three types of rocks, distinguish between rocks and minerals, and explain Mohs’ hardness test; 2) Rocks as Resources – give examples and uses of metallic and nonmetallic resources and explain the life cycle of a manufactured product; and 3) Land Mining – define ore and explain ore grade, distinguish between surface and underground mining, and explain the importance and environmental impacts of mining.