Rocks  and  Minerals  (STC)
Youngsters are naturally curious about materials from the earth. They want to know if rocks and minerals are the same, what is in rocks, and why some rocks have fossils. This STC unit builds on students' curiosity as you help them explore the properties of rocks and minerals.
Students begin by exploring three rock samples and identifying different properties. Then student teams sort 12 rock samples on the basis of the properties the class identified. Reading selections introduce students to the properties and origins of the three basic rock groups: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

Students then observe mineral specimens and carefully reexamine the rocks, seeing firsthand that minerals are the "building blocks" of rocks. Then student pairs get 12 mineral specimens and conduct a series of tests to identify or quantify several properties: