Rocks and Minerals Worksheet

Our Rocks and Minerals Worksheet compares the differences between rocks and minerals.

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rocks/minerals worksheet

Geology Unit Study

MatchCard Science Rocks and Minerals Worksheet

Objective: Compare rocks and minerals.

MatchCard: Download below.

MatchCard Information Pieces define and describe minerals and rocks. Ideas for projects are listed on the instructor's page and below.

Print the Rocks and Mineral MatchCard

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This is the first MatchCard of the Geology Unit Study.

Students will differentiate the characteristics of rocks and characteristics of minerals. Information pieces on the third page can be cut apart and placed in the correct box. Use a plastic page protector so students can review the information.

Examine Rocks and Minerals

rocks and minerals diagram

To get started, have a variety of rocks and minerals for the students to look at. Ask them what they are. They will likely answer that they are rocks.

Ask them what a rock is, and give them the opportunity to define it. (This can be fun, since we have known what a rock is since infancy, but seldom had to define it.) Wait to give the scientific definition.

Tell them you are going to divide them into two groups: specimens of rocks and specimens of minerals. Ask them if they can divide the specimens.

Ask if they can describe the difference between the two.
crystal pattern that helps to identify it.

What Is A Rock?

A rock is a solid, inorganic substance composed of a mixture of different minerals. (Inorganic means non-living in this context.)

We will define mineral in a minute. The key point is that a rock is a MIXTURE of minerals, and a mineral is uniform and made of one chemical.

Rocks are also irregular shapes. This is the key physical difference which the students would have used to differentiate the two substances.
crystal pattern that helps to identify it.

What Is A Mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occuring solid that has the same chemical composition throughout. It is made of only one chemical.

Minerals have a definite crystalline shape. The distinct shape not only differentiates rocks from minerals, but also allows one mineral to be differentiated from another.
crystal pattern that helps to identify it.

What Is A Crystal?

A crystal is a solid substance whose molecules are arranged in a distinct and repetitve pattern. Crystals can be as fragile and temporary as snowflakes, or as strong and enduring as diamonds. All minerals have a repeating crystal pattern that helps to identify it.

Practice Cleaving Minerals and Rocks

Younger students need supervision with this activity.

Use a light hammer, and a screw driver as a wedge to split minerals into their crystalline layers. Students should note how relatively easy it is to split the mineral. Also notice the shape of the newly formed pieces.

In comparison, try splitting a rock. It usually requires more force, and results in irregular pieces.

Use the Geology MatchCard as a Rocks and Minerals Worksheet

After doing the activity, use the rocks and minerals worksheet. Students can work alone or in groups. It also is a review tool that can be used with other MatchCards to review science terminology and concepts.

This MatchCard is quite simple, and is an introduction to the coming lessons on types of rocks and MOHS test for minerals.

Keep On Learning

Have a location for kids to display rocks and minerals they find. Rocks are much easier to find, and will result in a collection that will be helpful learning three types of rocks from the rock cycle (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.)

MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards


MatchCards make science concepts and corresponding vocabulary interactive. As students move the information pieces on the MatchCards they review the material they have already learned.

Download the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide and see how MatchCards can make building their science knowledge base fun.

Geology Unit Study

Geology Unit Study Cover

Our nine objectives will turn your rock hunting student into a genuine junior geologist. Core content and hands-on projects in the Geology Unit Study will keep them watching the ground under the feet.

12 Science Unit Studies

MatchCard Science Cover

Chemistry is only one of twelve complete unit studies for kids in 3rd to 8th grade.

Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. See all twelve MatchCard Science Unit Studies.

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