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Topic Outlines



Terms to learn:

mineral           element           silica-oxygen tetrahedron
streak             luster              hardness (Moh's hardness scale)
cleavage         fracture


Topic outline:

  1. Basic Chemistry
    1. chemical bonds
      1. ionic
      2. covalent
  2. Earth’s crust
    1. silicate minerals
      1. silica-oxygen tetrahedron
      2. silicate structures
  3. Important minerals
    1. rock-forming
    2. non-silicates 
  4. Physical properties of minerals
  5. Rock cycle


Fun places to visit:

Mineral gallery:

Fluorescent minerals:

Mineral collecting information:

Smithsonian gem and mineral collection:


When you are finished with this topic, you should be able to answer these questions:

1.      What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?

2.      What is the primary building block of all silicate minerals?

3.      Why might it be difficult to identify a mineral by its color?

4.      Would you consider ice to be a mineral?

5.      Be familiar with the general properties of minerals.

6.      What mineral group makes up the rock-forming minerals?

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