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Title: Classifying Rocks
Level: Intermediate
Time: 1-2 class periods
KERA Goals: 1.3, 2.4

Objective: Making chart in extension activity


Students will classify rocks by properties.

  1. Place all rock samples in a pile at the top of the paper.  Draw a circle around the pile of rocks.

  2. Move all the dark samples to a separate pile.  Make a separate pile of light samples.  Draw a circle around each pile.

  3. Observe the dark samples.  Choose a physical property that will allow you to divide the samples into 2 piles.  Draw a circle around each pile.  Write the property you used by each circle.

  4. Repeat step 3 using the light samples.

  5. Keep dividing the piles using physical properties. Do this until each mineral is by itself.


Have eight rock samples in classroom. Have students examine each rock sample and fill in chart.
(You can compile a class chart from student worksheets.)


Rock Numbers

Questions 12 34 56 78
a.  Does the rock have two or more colors?            
b.  Does the rock have large mineral pieces?            
c.  Does the rock have small mineral pieces?            
d.  Is the rock sandy?            
e.  Does the rock have many holes?            
f.  Does the rock have layers?            
g.  Does the rock have bands?            
h.  Does the rock have an odor?            
i.  Is the rock shiny?            
j.  Is the rock rough?            
k.  Is the rock heavy?            
l.  Does the rock float in water?            
m. Does the rock make marks on paper?            


  1. How are they alike, different?
  2. Do they all weigh the same?
  3. Are they hard or soft (easy to crush)?
  4. Use your imagination!

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Provided by The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.