Rocks and Minerals of Bay of Fundy Identification
In this hands on workshop an expert from the Fundy Geological Museum guides teachers through the Nova Scotia rock and mineral identification activity developed by the museum.
This program was developed to familiarize kids with rocks and minerals that can be found along the Bay of Fundy shore. Students will explore fundamental characteristics of rocks and minerals and learn how to identify them through a series of steps and observations. Using common household items and the rocks and minerals provided students will be able to correctly identify and place them onto a supplied labeled card.
- Minerals cards (provided)
- Rock and mineral samples (provided)
- Glue, Elmer’s School Glue will do
- If rock hardness kit is not available, household items will suffice:
- In lieu of HCl acid - white vinegar
Curriculum Outcome Links
Science – Grade 4, Grade 7, and Geology 12
Outcome: Students will compare and observe rocks and minerals to identify unique properties and characteristics.
- Fossils in rocks help us to interpret ancient environments
- Characteristics of rocks and minerals and their uses
- Fundamental defining characteristics of minerals and how they differ from rocks
45 min – 1.5 hours
One classroom or equivalent
Bay of Fundy Rock and Mineral ID kits and Lesson Plan: $4.50/per student, includes shipping (within Canada). Includes a lesson plan, step by step instructions, activity cards, and minerals and optional guidance via Zoom/Teams/Skype.
10 minutes: Introduction and hand out
The program starts with a brief introduction on the geology and location of Bay of Fundy. The difference between rocks and minerals are then discussed and the placards with bags of rock/minerals samples are handed out. Each bag contains 5 smaller clear bags labeled #1 through #5 and contain 2 specimens each. For every blank on the identifying placard, 1 specimen is provided.
30 minutes: Identifying
Starting with question 1, and associated bag #1, a description is read of Limestone and Basalt either by Fundy representative over Zoom/Teams/Skype etc. or classroom teacher. If vinegar instead of HCl is being applied, make sure to scratch surface of rocks to create a powderized area where a small amount of vinegar is then carefully applied. Following the flow of the lesson plan to determine which sample of Bag #1 is limestone and which is basalt. Follow to question 2 and through to 5.
15+ minutes: Discussion + optional information
In addition to descriptions there is information about each rock or mineral on the back of the cards that can be discussed by a Fundy representative or teacher. Vocabulary such as igneous and sedimentary are used. A discussion on the three main rock types (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic) wraps up the lesson.
Additionally: After this activity concludes the discussion is brought back to regional geology of Bay of Fundy. Where do crystals come from? What conditions do they form under? These kinds of questions are answered via Zoom/Teams/Skype by a Fundy Geological Museum representative.