SC.4.E.6.2

Identify the physical properties of common earth-forming minerals, including hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color, and recognize the role of minerals in the formation of rocks.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Earth Structures - Humans continue to explore the composition and structure of the surface of Earth. External sources of energy have continuously altered the features of Earth by means of both constructive and destructive forces. All life, including human civilization, is dependent on Earth’s water and natural resources.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.4.E.6.1
    Identify the three categories of rocks: igneous, (formed from molten rock); sedimentary (pieces of other rocks and fossilized organisms); and metamorphic (formed from heat and pressure).

  • Clarification :
    Students will identify and/or describe the physical properties of common minerals.

    Students will describe and/or explain the role of minerals in the formation of rocks.

    Students will identify the three categories of rocks and how they were formed.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will not assess the identification of a specific mineral based on its properties.

    Items addressing common minerals are limited to quartz, feldspar, mica, calcite, talc, pyrite, and graphite.

    Items will not require the identification of specific mineral composition of any type of rock.

    Items will not require knowledge of Moh’s hardness scale.

    Items will not assess the rock cycle.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.1.E.6.1, SC.2.E.6.1, SC.2.E.6.2, SC.2.E.6.3 SC.K.P.8.1, SC.1.P.8.1, and SC.2.P.8.1.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: 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?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
5020110: STEM Lab Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.4.E.6.In.2: Identify physical properties (hardness, streak color, and luster) of common minerals, such as rock salt, talc, gold, and silver.
SC.4.E.6.Su.2: Sort common minerals, such as rock salt, talc, gold, and silver, by their physical properties (luster and color).
SC.4.E.6.Pa.2: Recognize common minerals, such as rock salt, talc, gold, and silver.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Image/Photograph

Rocks for Kids:

This resource collection includes information about rocks and minerals. Included are glossaries, photos/images, links to other rock/mineral websites, and other information to develop understandings of rocks/minerals and the processes by which they are formed. A table of contents is included to guide navigation.

Type: Image/Photograph

Lesson Plans

Rocks:

Students will use their knowledge of minerals and the rock cycle to analyze the rocks on three available sites for a new skate park. After analyzing each rock site, they will write a one page recommendation that will explain the classification of the rock and why it is the best for option for building. In addition, they will create a product plan that contains information on the rocks, their history and their uses. Student groups will present to fellow group members then each student will evaluate the products.

Type: Lesson Plan

Physical Properties of Minerals Lab:

The 5E Learning Cycle lesson introduces students to the concept of minerals and their physical properties of hardness, color, streak color, luster, and cleavage. Students will explore the properties of minerals and learn about and practice determining the specific properties of a mineral sample.

Type: Lesson Plan

Physical Properties of Minerals Student Activity Lab:

During this lab activity students will use their knowledge of the physical properties of minerals to investigate and describe seven common minerals including quartz, feldspar, biotite mica, calcite, pyrite, graphite, and talc. Students will determine hardness, color, luster, streak color, and cleavage using various hands-on testing methods.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mastering Minerals!:

This MEA requires Students to review data and rank minerals from best to worst in terms of mineral properties, to help a mineral jeweler decide on the best mineral to use to make a necklace. Students will consider hardness, luster, color, cleavage and safety by analyzing the given charts which include these data by mineral. Students will work as a group and create a model for ranking the minerals.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rocks, Rocks, Everywhere:

The students will be able to sort rocks based upon color, hardness, texture, layering and particle size.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Properties of Minerals:

Explore the characteristics of minerals in our rock formations and what makes them unique. In this interactive tutorial, you'll learn about simple tests that are used to identify minerals.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

Earth Materials:

The Earth Materials Module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of solid materials from the earth—rocks and minerals. The focus is on taking materials apart to find what they are made of and putting materials together to better understand their properties. The module introduces fundamental concepts in Earth science and takes advantage of the students' intrinsic interest in the subject matter and in the physical world around them.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Rocks and Minerals:

In this unit, students learn the physical properties of rocks and how they are formed.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Mastering Minerals!:

This MEA requires Students to review data and rank minerals from best to worst in terms of mineral properties, to help a mineral jeweler decide on the best mineral to use to make a necklace. Students will consider hardness, luster, color, cleavage and safety by analyzing the given charts which include these data by mineral. Students will work as a group and create a model for ranking the minerals.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Properties of Minerals:

Explore the characteristics of minerals in our rock formations and what makes them unique. In this interactive tutorial, you'll learn about simple tests that are used to identify minerals.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Properties of Minerals:

Explore the characteristics of minerals in our rock formations and what makes them unique. In this interactive tutorial, you'll learn about simple tests that are used to identify minerals.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Image/Photograph

Rocks for Kids:

This resource collection includes information about rocks and minerals. Included are glossaries, photos/images, links to other rock/mineral websites, and other information to develop understandings of rocks/minerals and the processes by which they are formed. A table of contents is included to guide navigation.

Type: Image/Photograph