MinKIDS Activities

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LOWER ELEMENTARY

Rocks are…(PK – 3)

Students will explore rocks (minerals) in this open-ended activity, make observations, make groups of rocks that are similar, ask questions, and explore the outdoor environment as well as basic light-object interactions.

  • Students will be able to describe rocks (minerals) in different ways and group them based on how they look, feel, and smell. (PK.S.2, PK.S.3, 2.PS1.1)
  • Students will be able to ask questions about the rocks (minerals) and where they came from, using “why”, “how”, and “what if” statements. (PK.S.4, PK.S.5, 2.PS1.2)
  • Students will be able to engage in investigations about rocks and other Earth materials, using materials inside and outside of the classroom. (PK.S.6)

Luster Cluster (PK – 3)

Students will explore how rocks look in visible light in this activity, make observations, and make groups of similar rocks.

  • Students will be able to describe rocks (minerals) in different ways and group them based on how they look. (PK.S.2, PK.S.3)
  • Students will be able to explore the effect of a beam of light on different rocks (minerals) and common objects (1.PS4.3) 
  • Students will plan and carry out an investigation to explore how light moves through different rocks (minerals) (2.PS1.1) 

Guess Who (PK – 3)

Students will play a game similar to “Guess Who” in pairs, describing a secret rock one statement at a time, while the other partner tries to guess which sample is being described.

  • Students will be able to describe rocks (minerals) in different ways (PK.S.2) through game-based play (PK.S.1).
  • Students will be able to share observations about rocks (minerals) with another student. (PK.S.4).

GeoKIDS (PK – 3)

Students will explore rocks, minerals, and fossils in the GeoKIDS kit. Students will make observations, group samples into rocks/minerals and fossils, ask questions, and collect data about the physical properties of their samples. Note: each student will get to keep their GeoKIDS collection!

  • Students will be able to describe rocks, minerals, and fossils in different ways and group them based on how they look and feel. (PK.S.2, PK.S.3, 2.PS1.1)
  • Students will be able to ask questions about the rocks (minerals) and where they came from, using “why”, “how”, and “what if” statements. (PK.S.4, PK.S.5, 2.PS1.2)
  • Students will be able to engage in investigations about rocks and other Earth materials. (2.PS1.1)
  • Students will be able to match observable properties to Earth materials. (2.PS1.2)

UPPER ELEMENTARY

Rocks are…” (5, 6)

Rocks are…ALL AROUND US and in this activity, students are introduced to the minerals that make them up, the physical properties they exhibit, and how to identify specific minerals based on these properties. Using an open-ended investigation with the mineral kits, students will have to collaborate in order to discover each way to describe minerals. Once they have worked through a majority of the properties on their own, you will guide them through a discussion on how to use these properties to organize minerals.

  • Students will be able to understand the difference between rocks and minerals.
  • Students will be able to use observations and perform physical property tests using tools from the “Geologist’s Toolbox”. (5.PS1.3)
  • Students will be able to use their observations of common physical properties to identify rock-forming and ore minerals from the MinKIDS box. (5.PS1.3)

Odd One Out (5)

Students will build off of knowledge established in the “Physical Properties of Minerals” (PPoM) activity to further work on identifying differences among similar minerals. Completing the PPoM activity is essential as the students will not be introduced to the individual properties but they will use this knowledge to identify minerals.

  • Students will be able to make observations and test for physical properties using hands-on methods from the “Geologist’s Toolbox” (5.PS1.3)
  • Students will be able to use their observations of physical properties to identify rock-forming and ore minerals from the GeoBox (5.PS1.3)
  • Students will be able to use their observations of physical properties to identify differences between minerals with similar appearances (5.PS1.3)

Mystery of the Colors (7)


Students will identify & group different colors of minerals in MinKIDS. Based on their observations, they will discuss what might cause these color changes, learning about impurities and other causes of color differences in minerals.

  • Students will be able to discuss the chemistry between minerals’ physical properties. (7.PS1.3)
  • Students will be able to share observations about rocks (minerals) with another student. (PK.S.4)
  • Students will be able to describe rocks (minerals) in different ways and group them based on how they look. (PK.S.2, PK.S.3)
  • Students will be able to ask questions about the rocks (minerals) and where they came from, using “why”, “how”, and “what if” statements. (PK.S.4, PK.S.5)

Minerals Around Me (5, 6)

Students will work together in groups to identify minerals in the MinKIDS collection which are used for beneficial purposes in their everyday lives. They will pick one mineral and research it as a geologic resource, including a) how it is extracted, b) what it is used for and what properties make it useful, c) environmental impacts of resource extraction, and d) evaluate prospects/needs for recycling/sustainability. Each group will give a presentation for sharing and assessment.

  • Students will be able to give examples of objects in their everyday lives that include components from minerals and rocks, including those common to Oklahoma.
  • Students will be able to describe technologies to extract mineral resources and their environmental impact.
  • Students will be able to make an argument for which mineral resources are more important to consider for global sustainability / recycling / life-cycle analysis.

My Name is… (5)

Students will learn about how minerals are discovered, and how they get their names. Students will learn that science is never “complete” and that new minerals are still being discovered and named today.

  • Students will be able to explain how minerals are named.  
  • Students will be able to explain how new minerals are discovered, and how this is related to the properties of substances. 
  • Students will be able to describe how minerals are classified according to their properties and composition. 

Oklahoma Mineral Stories (7)

 Students will tell stories about places in Oklahoma that are related to mineral resources, and identify and describe the minerals that match that location. 

  • Students will be able to describe both the important and common minerals of Oklahoma in their geologic context.
  • Students will be able to identify interesting places to find minerals in Oklahoma.
  • Students will be able to explain how minerals form in relation to the Earth’s interconnected systems.
  • Students will be able to give examples of ways in which mineral properties and characteristics are integrated with human lives, history, and society.

GeoKIDS (4-8)

Students will explore rocks, minerals, and fossils in the GeoKIDS kit. Students will make observations, group samples into rocks/minerals and fossils, ask questions, and collect data about the physical properties of their samples. Note: each student will get to keep their GeoKIDS collection!

  • Students will be able to use observations and perform physical property tests using tools from the “Geologist’s Toolbox”. (5.PS1.3)
  • Students will be able to use their observations of common physical properties to identify rock-forming and ore minerals from the MinKIDS box, and identify similarities and differences with the GeoKIDS collection. (5.PS1.3)