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Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals

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Field Guide to Rocks

Field GuideField Guide

Our field guide to rocks and minerals is filled with information on how to identify rocks and minerals. There are charts on the rocks that will help you identify all three major groups of rocks.Keys to mineral identification are also listed in the field guide to help in the identification of individual minerals.

Color pictures of rocks and minerals

Color pictures throughout the rock and mineral identification field guide of many rocks and minerals are included in the book. The book was designed to be carried in backpacks on field trips. It can also be used at home to identify unknown rocks that have been picked up over the years by people interested in rocks and minerals. 

Using charts to identify rocks and minerals

The charts in the book are based on characteristics taught in the textbooks: Igneous Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, Metamorphic Rocks and Minerals. The charts use basic characteristics to identify rocks and minerals. The DVD contains video lessons on how to use the textbook when identifying rocks.

IN SE L1 Rock ID Field Guide Options

Student Edition eBook link
Level 1 Rock & Mineral ID Field Guide

Our Field Guide to rocks and minerals can be divided into two parts. The first section contains information on identifying rocks. The last section includes information on the identification of minerals.  There are three major families of rocks found on the surface of the Earth. Each of these families have major characteristics that can be used to identify them.

Igneous Rocks

Igneous Rocks all were at one time magma. Magma is molten rock that forms underground in subduction zones and hot spots. Magma that cools and solidifies underground has interlocking crystals that are visible to the naked eye. Lava rocks form when magma reaches the surface of the Earth usually during a volcanic eruption. All rocks produced by volcanic eruptions are Igneous Rocks.

Sedimentary Rocks

There are three major types of sedimentary rocks. Clastic rocks are created when broken bits and pieces of older rock are "glued" together when minerals crystallize between the grains. Organic rocks are the products of plant and animal life. Coral reefs and coal are examples of organic rocks. Chemical rocks form when minerals in lakes and shallow  seas crystallize on the floors of oceans and lakes. Chemical rocks also form around hot springs. Salt, borax, and travertine are examples of these types of rocks.

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks are produced when crustal plates collide. New metamorphic rocks form when there is enough heat and pressure on older rocks to cause them to recrystallize without melting. Gneiss is an example of a high-grade metamorphic rock where the new crystals migrate into bands.


Do you know what are minerals and how to identify them? There are over 3000 named minerals on the surface of our planet. The best way to identify an individual mineral is to use the "keys" that make it unique. Luster, fracture, cleavage, color and special properties of individual minerals are all keys to identifying minerals found in the field.

More Level 1 Textbook Links

Level 1 Textbooks

Earth Science

Igneous Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks


Rock & Mineral ID Field Guide

Rock Cycle



Course 1

Course 2

Kids Science

Level 2 Textbooks

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