How to help kids identify rocks online

Written by deborah walker
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How to help kids identify rocks online
Interactive websites are a fun way for children to learn to identify rocks online. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Interactive websites can engage the most disinterested student in science class. You can use these sites at any phase in the learning process. During the instructional phase, you may want to use a site that explains different rock types, but during other phases, games may be more appropriate to reinforce what has been learnt. Differentiating learning for your students is easy to do when you have so many choices to help kids identify rocks online.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Navigate to the OpenNet British Isle Geology Toolkit website. This interactive site explains the three basic rock types: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. This is a good introduction to rock formation that you may want to discuss with your students prior to actual rock identification.

  2. 2

    Visit the Rockhound Rock Key. This is a slightly more advanced explanation of the types of rocks, the rock cycle, minerals and how to make a rock collection. At the bottom of the page, you can identify rocks by answering questions on an interactive chart. For example, "Is the rock made of crystal grains?" If the answer is "yes," you are directed to go to step two.

  3. 3

    Go to the Science Links Rock Slideshow. This interactive page begins with pictures of rocks with their names. Each slide shows a picture of a rock and explains a few of its characteristics. The rocks covered in this slideshow include halite, breccia, milky quartz, talc, conglomerate, obsidian and others. The site is simple enough that children should be able to navigate through it on their own.

  4. 4

    Navigate to the Geology for Kids Rock Identification game. This game was designed to help children learn how to identify rocks or practice their rock identification skills. The game shows a picture of a rock and its common characteristics. The student selects the correct rock from a list of igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary rocks at the top of the page. After making her selection, the child clicks on the "Who Am I?" button at the bottom of the game. If the answer is correct, the child moves on to the next one and gets a point. If the answer is incorrect, the correct answer is displayed.

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