Sunday, November 24, 2013

Name those minerals!

Your team of geologists has studied a set of unknown minerals. You've figured out the hardness, the streak colors, the luster and whether or not the minerals have cleavage. You have also been able to generate some additional properties, including whether or not the minerals are magnetic. Once you have compared your findings to a mineral identification chart, you should be ready to identify your minerals.

On this post, your team needs to decide what the minerals are and provide your reasons for believing those identifications. Collaborate with your team, create a brief Word document, check for good spelling and clear ideas, and then post it here. In the names section, each student of your team should have his or her name included.

A sample might look like the following:

We believe that mineral number 1 is quartz. The color of the mineral, the hardness and the streak color from our sample matches the mineral identification chart for quartz. Quartz does not have cleavage and has a non-metallic luster. That matches the sample and the mineral identification chart information.

You would then make a new "mini-paragraph" for each of the other three minerals. The above is just a sample, and your team can design the information how you see fit. However, you need to provide as much evidence as you can about why you think the mineral is what you have decided it to be.

Once everyone has posted their results, we will examine the findings and see who was correct. Think hard, communicate and collaborate with your team and create a good post of your findings.


  1. Luke, Lilly, Piper, KennethDecember 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Our team of expert geologists has come to the conclusion that number 1 is graphite. There are several pieces of proof that have led us to this answer. One piece of evidence is that most of our proof matches the scientific charts. Our team has also come to a conclusion that the number 2 mineral is galena. A piece of proof is the silver-ish color matches being metallic on the chart. The 3rd discovery we have made is the number 3 is Pyrite. Our proof is it matches the information on the charts including the dark green streak and the golden color matches the information as well. The 4th mineral we discovered was called magnetite because the hardness matched the mineral identification table. The hardness was 5.5-6.5 and another thing that told us that the mineral was magnetite was it had no cleavage and that matched the mineral identification chart. Since all of our information matched the chart, we are pretty sure that we are right.

    1. I disagree with #1 I think it is Hematite.

  2. Adrian, Jay, Ruby, SophiaDecember 11, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    We think mineral #1 is Hematite. Our proof is that the color is blackish-gray, the hardness is 5-6, and the streak color is reddish-brown.

    We also think that mineral #2 is Galena. The hardness is 2.5, the streak color is gray, and it has cleavage.

    We think mineral #3 is Pyrite. Our proof is that the color is goldish, the hardness is 6, its streak color is greenish-black, its luster is metallic, and it doesn’t have cleavage.

    We think mineral #4 is Magnetite. Our proof is that it’s metallic, and it has cleavage.

  3. Maya, Michael A., William, and MilesDecember 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Our group thinks that #1 is Hematite because it has a non-metallic luster, it has no cleavage, it is black in color and can appear glittery with a bright metallic luster, or dark brown or red with a dull luster.

    Our group also thinks that #2 is Galena because it’s streak is grey, it has a non-metallic luster, it has no cleavage, it is silver in color and is heavy for its size.

    Also our group thinks that #3 is Pyrite because it’s streak is greenish-black in color, it has a metallic luster, and it has no cleavage, and is also known as fool’s gold.

    Lastly our group thinks that #4 is Magnetite because it’s streak is black, it has a non-metallic luster, and it has no cleavage and is attracted to a magnet.

    1. I remember doing this! Really fun lab to do in class!

  4. Quintin, Noah, Ryan, and LydiaDecember 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    We think mineral 4 is Magnetite, because the science books results match ours. Its color is black, its streak is black, its hardness is 5.5-6.5, it's magnetic and does not have cleavage or luster.
    We think mineral 3 is pyrite. We have the proof and the proof is that is, because its streak is black, it is metallic and it’s hardness is 6.5.
    We think mineral 2 is Galena. We have the proof and the proof is that its streak is gray and its metallic.
    The last mineral which is mineral 1 we think is Hematite it follows the properties in the science book and follows the properties that we have also, it hardness is 3.0 it does not have cleavage it is non-metallic and it's streak is reddish brown.