The objective of this lesson is to learn that minerals
have many shapes. Students will create a mineral person and can then tell
stories about their mineral person.
The worksheet lists examples of minerals that show the
illustrated crystal shapes. Sphalerite is zinc sulfide, which is an
important ore of zinc. Gypsum is calcium sulfate which is used in the
production of wall board, plaster of Paris, and fertilizer. Quartz, which is
silicon dioxide is one of the most widely used minerals with such
applications as glass making, jewelry, porcelain, and sand paper. Pyrite is
iron sulfide and is commonly referred to as "fool's gold." Pyrite
is mined for its sulfur and in some cases for its iron. Galena is lead
sulfide and is an important source for lead ore. Orthoclase feldspar is
composed of potassium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen and is used in the
manufacture of porcelain.
- Have the students look at the minerals shapes page on their worksheet.
Tell the students some of the above background information about each of
them. Remind your class that minerals grow in many different shapes.
- Ask students to color and cut out the mineral shapes. Give them
suggestions for colors. Sphalerite is usually a yellowish-brown color.
Gypsum is white to clear. Quartz can be just about any color, from
purple to striped. Pyrite is gold colored. Galena is silver or gray.
Orthoclase is usually pinkish orange.
- Ask the students to arrange their cutouts into the shapes of either a
man or a woman, or any other organism of their choosing.
- Allow the students time to share their stories about their mineral
people. This lab can be extended into a writing lesson by having them
write a few sentences telling about their person.