Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students should be able to:
- list and explain the various physical properties used to identify minerals such as the hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color of specific minerals (quartz, feldspar, biotite mica, calcite, pyrite, graphite, and talc).
- determine the relative hardness of a mineral.
- identify the color of a mineral is a physical property.
- identify the luster of a mineral as metallic or nonmetallic.
- identify the streak color of a mineral.
- identify the presence or absence of cleavage in a mineral.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should have some background knowledge about the physical properties that they will be testing in this lab activity. Prior to the lab, have students review the material using resources on hand or refer students to this resource online: http://www.kidsloverocks.com/html/physical_properties_of_mineral.html
Before students begin lab activity, they should be able to:
- Define the word "mineral."
- Explain the physical properties used to identify minerals such as hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color.
- Explain that hardness is how easily a mineral can be scratched.
- Explain that luster describes how the surface of the mineral reflects light.
- Define streak color as the color of a mineral's powder.
- Define cleavage as how a mineral breaks along flat planes.
- Explain that the color of the mineral is the color they see.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- How can the physical properties of a mineral be determined and used to identify it?
- How can you determine the hardness of a mineral?
- How do colors compare across mineral samples?
- How can you determine the actual color of a mineral, especially if it is tarnished or oxidized?
- How can you classify minerals as metallic or non-metallic using physical properties?
- Do all minerals break the same way?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
See attached PowerPoint as a guide for teaching this lesson.
Begin the lesson with a brief review: partners will take turns verbally identifying the properties of minerals. These should include the characteristics of a mineral (naturally occurring, solid, inorganic, crystalline, a specific chemical structure, mostly pure) and the physical properties including color, streak color, luster, cleavage, and hardness.
Cooperative Learning Activity for Review: Pass out the question cards to students and explain the rules. Students move around the room, finding a random partner and asking them the question on their card. After both partners have asked and answered the questions, students trade cards and find a new random partner. Students will be given 3 minutes for this task. In order to monitor student understanding circulate and listen to students as they answer the questions or coach if needed. Bring students back to seats.
The teacher states the target: "Our target today is to compare and contrast minerals by their physical properties of hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color. Today we are going to practice our knowledge of hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color to compare a set of minerals. You will be working with your shoulder partner to complete a lab where you will test the relative hardness and streak, describe the color and luster, and determine if cleavage is present in the sample."
Review the lab instructions with the class. Students will be working with a partner (recommended) or in triads. Groups of 4 are not recommended for this activity.
Note: Place students with shoulder partners (or in triads if necessary). Arrange partners so that pairs have mixed ability. Higher-level students should be working with a low-medium partner, and a high-medium student should be working with a lower-level student.
Pass out lab sheets and place materials for each pair/group on the tables.
Materials include: set of minerals (quartz, feldspar, biotite mica, calcite, pyrite, graphite, and talc), nail, penny, hand lens, flashlight, pencil, lab sheet, tray, moist paper towel, white streak plate, black streak plate
- Organizational tip: place each type of mineral sample in numbered bags; this allows students across groups to compare the same mineral type. Stress to students that they must keep the minerals in their numbered bags for identification later on.
Have students quickly do a materials check to ensure that all materials are present.
Review lab safety rules: Review the components of the lab and safety information. (Follow the Lab Safety Rules as outlined by the State of Florida: http://fldoe.org/academics/standards/subject-areas/math-science/science/safety-in-science.stml).
- Keep mineral samples away from eyes and mouth.
- Use caution when handling the iron nails and streak plates. Mineral samples should be held carefully.
- Do not throw or toss items to anyone. Hand items to your partner.
- If something breaks, inform the teacher immediately!
- Wear eye protection.
- When finished, wash hands with soap and water.
Explain to students: There are five activities and one optional extension activity in this lab and a time limit will be given for each component. If you need help, students should first ask their partners or group members, then ask table groups near you, then ask the teacher. Please raise your hand to signify that you need assistance, but keep working until the teacher is able to reach you.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Have students work through the properties of minerals lab sheet with teacher guidance for the first activity:
Activity 1: Hardness – Students will test their mineral samples for hardness.
- Have students read the problem and make a prediction.
- Students retrieve the penny, nail, and Mohs hardness scale from the lab kit.
- Guide students to choose the first mineral sample.
- Each student will test for hardness.
- Remind students to use their fingernail to scratch the surface of the mineral. Determine if the fingernail leaves a mark or not. If the fingernail does not leave a scratch, try the penny. If the penny does not scratch the mineral, try the iron nail. If the iron nail does not scratch the mineral sample, the hardness is above 6. Stop testing once a tool leaves a scratch on the mineral. Some minerals may be too hard to scratch with the tools provided for this lab.
- Students record their findings on their lab sheet. (Circulate around the room and make sure that all students fill in their own recording sheet.)
- Work with students to complete the hardness test for all 7 minerals.
- Students draw a conclusion from their findings. Which mineral was hardest? Which mineral was softest? Place them in order from hardness level 1 to the hardest mineral. (Circulate and monitor that students are completing the prediction question and the conclusion statement.)
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Student groups continue to work on the lab activities. Circulate throughout the room as they work. Students need to complete the prediction question before beginning each activity. When they have completed each activity, students need to answer the conclusion statement. Students should be talking with their partner(s) and discussing their ideas.
Activity 2: Students describe each mineral's color. Students read the problem and make a prediction. Students will need the mineral set and a hands lens from the lab kit. Student use the hand lens to observe the mineral sample and describe the colors they see. Record the data on the lab sheet. Ask students to draw a conclusion: Can you identify the mineral based only on its color?
Activity 3: Streak test: Students will describe each mineral's streak color. Have students read the problem and make a prediction. Students will need the mineral set, hand lens, white streak plate, black streak plate, and a moist paper towel. Students perform the streak test using both color plates. Instruct students to carefully and gently draw the mineral once across the streak plate. Using the hand lens, look at the powdered streak left on the plate. Note that some of the mineral streaks will not show up on the white streak plate. Students should use both the white and black streak plates. Determine the color of the powdered streak on the plate. Record this color on their lab data sheet. Answer the conclusion question, "How does the streak color compare to the color of the mineral?"
Activity 4: Luster: Students will describe each mineral's luster as metallic or nonmetallic. Students will need the mineral set and a flashlight. Students shine the flashlight on the rock to determine if the mineral reflects light like a metal or is nonmetallic. Answer the conclusion question, "What do you think luster tells you about a mineral?"
Activity 5: Cleavage: Students will determine if the mineral sample has cleavage. Have the students read the problem and make a prediction. Students will need the mineral set and hand lens. Students will observe each mineral and determine if the mineral has been broken in flat edges or planes. Add the data for each sample to the data sheet. Ask students to draw a conclusion: Do all minerals break the same way?
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
Activity Reflection: Students choose two minerals and compare them across their properties. What do you notice? How are they the same? How are they different? (Consider using a Double Bubble Thinking Map or Venn Diagram.) What do you think this tells you about the minerals' compositions?
Choose one physical property and look across the collection of samples. What conclusions can you draw about the physical properties of minerals?
Wrap Up Activity: Move it and Compare! (Students will move, find a new partner, and discuss one of the two reflection questions.)
- Students stand up, push their chairs in.
- Hold their hand up in the air.
- Walk quietly around the room.
- Find a new partner and high-five.
- Stand quietly together until all partners have been found.
- Partner A discusses one of the reflection questions for 1 minute. Partner B listens quietly.
- Partner B thanks Partner A.
- Partner B discusses one of the reflection questions for 1 minute. Partner A listens quietly.
- Partner A thanks Partner B.
- Return to seats quietly.
Students should complete the exit ticket out the door.
Dennis cannot scratch a mineral sample with his fingernail, but he observes that he can scratch the mineral sample with a piece of metal. What physical property of the mineral sample is Dennis investigating?
(FCAT 2.0 2012 Science Test Item Specifications Version 2, p. 47)
Student Data Sheets will provide formative assessment data for the teacher to check while circulating.
The teacher can spot check by asking questions to groups. The teacher can correct any misconceptions at this time or to have students clarify their explanations.
Feedback to Students
Students will compare their data with standard data to make sure they are on the right track. Students will be able to self evaluate however the teacher should also be facilitating and assisting any students that are off track.
The teacher will circulate and provide targeted specific feedback to students on the process and the data collection.