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Science - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 1
2 class periods of 30 minutes each
After finding the similarities and differences of school supplies and pasta, students will classify rocks and minerals according to their characteristics.
A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic chemical substance having a definite chemical composition and a characteristic crystal structure. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. A rock, therefore, is a naturally occurring solid material composed of one or more minerals.
There are three types of rock: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. They are classified into one of these categories because of the way in which they were formed.
Igneous rocks are those that solidify from a molten or partially molten state. They include such rocks as basalt, granite, pumice and obsidian.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from erosion and deposition. Wind, water, ice, and chemicals break down existing rock into sediment that is then transported and deposited by wind, water, and glaciers. As sediment accumulates with time (thousands of years), it becomes compacted and cemented, eventually forming rock. Over a period spanning hundreds of millions of years, oceans, rivers, and great deserts covered Utah and deposited the sediment that has formed into the sedimentary rocks we see today. Some common sedimentary rocks are shale, sandstone, limestone, and conglomerate.
Metamorphic rocks are any rock type that has been altered by heat, pressure, and/or the chemical action of fluids and gases. Metamorphic rocks are classified by their structure and their dominant minerals.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
Invitation to Learn
Show students a set of rocks and minerals. Ask them to look at what may be similar between each one. What are some of the differences they observe? Ask if they might be able to put them in groups according to what they look like, how they feel and any other characteristic they observe.