What are Minerals?

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Level 1 Minerals

L1 Minerals textbookL1 Minerals
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Learn what are minerals in our Level 1 Minerals textbook. The book includes twelve lessons about minerals and how to identify them. Lesson topics include What is a Mineral, Keys to Elimination, Luster of Minerals, Mohs Scale of Hardness, Cleavage Surfaces and Streaking for Color.  Each lesson contains 2-3 pages of written material of facts about minerals, a quiz and an kids science activity.

Myrna Martin introduces each lesson in the textbook on a video that can be purchased with our packages and courses. Myrna covers not only the main points in the lesson she also includes extra information on the topic that is not contained in the written material.

The elementary science activities are fun and easy to do in this textbook. Kids science activities include Animal, Mineral or Vegetable, Crystal Candy, Checking for Hardness, Finding Fractures and Finding Density.


SE L1 Minerals Options

Student Edition eBook link
L1 Minerals textbook

Teacher Edition eBook link
L1 Minerals Textbook

L1 Minerals teacher's books

Teacher’s Edition Textbooks

The teacher’s textbook is an exact copy of the student textbook. It includes the answers to the quizzes on each quiz page. A Teacher’s Notes page is located before each lesson with the following information

1. Lesson Content
2. Lesson Objectives
3. Activity information and materials needed
4. Vocabulary and definitions
5. Correlation with the National Science Standards


What are minerals?

Have you ever wondered what are minerals and what makes them unique? Geologists use these this definition to define what is a mineral. A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that has a definite chemical composition and crystalline structure.

  • Gold, silver, and diamonds, are all naturally occurring minerals.
  • Coal and coral reefs are organic rocks produced by living organisms.
  • A mineral has a definite crystalline structure that forms when atoms combine to create a molecule that is repeated over and over.
  • Snowflakes are minerals but water is not because it is a liquid without a crystalline structure.
  • Some minerals are a single element like silver and gold while others like quartz (silicon dioxide) are made up of two or elements.

Magnetite, a sailors compass

Magnetite has been used by sailors for thousands of years when they are at sea. Sailors traveling on cloudy days could tell the which direction they were traveling by floating magnetite on a piece of cork in water.  The mineral acts like a small compass. When the magnetite was molten and started to cool the individual minerals in the rock aligned up with magnetic north.

Recent research has found that some birds use magnetite in their body to  help them when they migrate.

Snowflakes are minerals

Water that we drink everyday is a liquid. When water in the atmosphere begins to freeze it forms a mineral because a snowflake has a definite chemical composition and a specific crystalline structure. There is a saying no two snowflakes are alike even though they are six-sided crystals.

Identifying minerals

There are approximately four thousand named minerals that are recognized by the International Mineralogical Association. Geologists are able to recognize different minerals based on their properties. Hardness, luster, color, streak, fracture and special properties of some minerals are keys to the identification of minerals.

Twenty minerals that are found in great abundance on Earth are major rock forming minerals.

Minerals in basalt

What are minerals found in basalt. Basalt is found on all ocean floors usually contains olivine, augite, and plagioclase feldspars. Pillow basalt covers all the ocean floors.

Minerals in andesite

What are minerals found in andesite. Andesite occurs in subduction zones, where stratovolcanoes like Mt. Hood grow into towering volcanoes. Minerals that make up andesite include plagioclase, pyroxene and hornblende.

Minerals in rhyolite

What are minerals found in rhyolite rocks. Rhyolite contains 70% or higher of silicon dioxide. Rhyolite lava that cools underground is granite. Minerals in granite include quartz, sanidine, plagioclase, hornblende and biotite mica. Pumice is a glassy rhyolite rock that cooled before it crystallized and contains few crystals.


More Level 1 Textbook Links

Level 1 Textbooks

Earth Science

Igneous Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

Minerals

Rock & Mineral ID Field Guide

Rock Cycle

Volcanoes

Earthquakes

Course 1

Course 2

Kids Science

Level 2 Textbooks


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