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Unit 4.

Rocks and
minerals
Geology is the study of rocks and how the Earth
surface has changed over millions of years. By
studying the rocks and minerals of the Earth,
we can find out how they were formed and how
their different properties
make them useful to us.
For example, what makes some materials useful
for building, and others betters for producing
jewelry, glass or metals?

Activities
1. Do you know which rocks are used to
make glass?

2. What does cement contain?

3. Hoe does land erosion occur?

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4. Look and read the rocks and minerals: quartz, chalk, diamond, granite, marble, slate

MARBLE CHALK

QUARTZ
DIAMOND

GRANITE

SLATE

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Rock detectives key
Find out how to distinguish between different types of rocks!

1. Write the key to find and write two facts about marble.

2. How can you differentiate chalk from limestone?

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Rocks and mineral formation
Rocks and minerals make up the Earth crust. Rocks are clusters of minerals
and other inorganic materials. Minerals are structured crystals that have
specific chemical components.

Rocks
There are three main types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Igneous rocks

These rocks form when molten magma (the hot liquid


inside volcanoes) or lava (this hot liquid outside the
volcano) from volcanoes cools and hardens.

If the lava cools quickly, small crystals form and the


rocks has dots of colour.

If the magma or lava cool slowly, then large crystals


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form and the rock looks the same color all over.

Granite and basalt are two examples of igneous rocks.

Sedimentary rocks
Sedimentary rocks form when bits rock, minerals or
plant or animal materials are compacted and
cemented.

These compact over millions of years to form rocks.

Clay and limestone are two examples of sedimentary


rocks. Sand forms sandstone.

Metamorphic rocks
Form from other rocks that change because of heat
and pressure beneath Earth’s surface.

Examples include Marble, formed from limestone, and


slate, formed from a sedimentary rock called shale.

Activities
1. How are igneous rocks formed?

2. Name three components of sedimentary


rocks.

3. How does a sedimentary rock become a


metamorphic rock?

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Minerals
We can find several types of minerals of many different colors and sizes in rocks. This is
because there are over 4000 types of minerals in the world.

We classify minerals according to their chemical composition.

Pure minerals are called elements. These only contain one


component. Diamonds belong in this category.

Sulphates are fragile minerals that contain sulphur, oxygen and


another metal. Gypsum, which is red in fertilisers, is a soft
sulphate.

Oxides are mixtures of metals and oxygen that vary in hardness


and color. Rubies, used in Jewelry, belong in this category.

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Uses of rocks and minerals
Rocks and minerals found in the Earth’s crust are used for a wide variety of
purposes. Every day we come across many rocks and minerals, eve if we do
not realize it. The properties of minerals include their colour, hardness, and
lustre (shininess).

Material

Limestone is a avery hard rock formed of calcium carbonate and fossils. Colors range from
white, brown, yellow, grey, green and even blue.

Quartz is a hard mineral that can be many colors from colorless to green or pink.

Diamonds are hard transparent carbon minerals. they are resistant to scratching.

Talc is a soft mineral and its color can vary between white, green or grey.

Activities
1. Where do minerals come from?

2. Which mineral does toothpaste contain?

3. Name a soft mineral and a hard mineral.

Uses

Concrete and cement, used on roads and buildings, are made


using powdered limestone. Limestone is a good aggregate, which
means it helps things stick together.

Quartz crystals are used in


watches and other electronics to
keep accurate time.

Diamonds are so hard they can be


cut to be used in jewelry, or even in
drills for mining and dentistry.

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Talc is used in talcum powder. Because it is soft and smooth,
talc is one of the oldest known solid lubricants, also used in
baby powder, paints and to keep basketball players’ hands dry.

Other uses
Marble, granite and sandstone are some common rocks that are
carved to make statues. Michelangelo's David is made of very fine
marble.

Glass is a manufactured material


made from quartz sand.
Limestone is often added to lower
the temperature necessary to
make glass.

Marble is used on counter tops in kitchens and on floors,


as well as for decoration around doors and windows. it is
extremely hard and can contain an mixture of colours.

Activities
1. In groups, make a list of all the ways in which we use
rocks and minerals at home. What rocks are most commonly found in your area?

2. How many chemical elements are there? what is the table called were we can find them
all?

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Find out: More about rocks
Idea

We can find out about the composition of rocks by testing their permeability. You will use
water and a magnifying glass.

Materials
• Different types of rock

• Magnifying glass

• Dropper

• Water

• Paper

• Pencil

• iPads

Process/carry out
1. Look at the rocks and decide what type of rock the are (igneous, sedimentary,
metamorphic)

2. Use the dropper to place of water on each rock. If they absorb the water, they are
permeable.

3. If they do not absorb it, use the water as a magnifying glass. draw what you see, then
do the same with the magnifying glass.

Use this table to take your notes. (You can identify some of your rocks using the key on
page 3)

Photo

Name of the rock

Colour

Texture

Type or rock

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Review
1. Copy and complete

2. Copy and match the sentences about rocks and minerals

a. Rocks… 1. have a unique chemical composition

b. Minerals… 2. is a soft mineral

c. Talc… 3. can contain several minerals, as well as fossils

3. Copy and complete the sentences: dead, metamorphic, igneous, heat,


sedimentary, lava

a. … rocks are formed when golden…cools and hardens.

b. … rocks are produced by the build up of rock fragmentes or the deposition of …


animals or plants.

c. … rocks are “baked” by extreme … or pressure.

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4. Read the lists and sort the odd one out and why.

a. basalt/ glass/cement/concrete

b. colour/hardness/igneous/lustre

c. diamond/sandstone/slate/limestone

d. sedimentary/lava/igneous/metamorphic

e. limestone/quartz/granite/marble

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