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Title: Minerals Make Rocks
Level: Middle School
Time: 45 minutes
KERA Goals: 2.2; 2.35; 2.4


Students will understand that all rocks are made from one or more minerals (or plant material, as in the case of coal). 

Background Information:

coal.gif (2562 bytes)


Recipe:  edible play dough

  1. Blend flour and oatmeal together for about 30 seconds.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix completely, then knead well.
  3. Add more flour if the mixture is too sticky.

Activity:  Mock Rocks

  1. Discuss the difference between a rock and a mineral. A mineral is just one substance, while a rock is a mixture of two or more minerals.

  2. Look at the rocks and determine how many different minerals are in them. You can do this by counting the different colored minerals in the rock.

  3. Put the students into groups to make their "mock rocks." Give each group part of the edible play dough to use as their rock.

  4. Using the various colored cake sprinkles to simulate the minerals in the rock, have the students encrust the play dough with sprinkles in the same proportion as the rocks (they can knead them in).

  5. Eat!

Teacher Hint:

  1. Have the students determine the proportions of minerals in the rock. Then see if they can mix the same proportions of "minerals" in their mock rock.
  2. Assign the student groups the various tasks of making the edible play dough.

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