The Topic:
Rocks and Minerals

Easier - Rocks are hard natural materials of mineral origin. Different kinds of rocks make up the crust of our planet Earth.
Harder - A rock is defined as an aggregate of mineral grains, which means that rocks are a bunch of mineral grains all stuck together. The mineral grains may be large enough to be seen with the naked eye (phaneritic) or microscopic (aphanitic).
The three types of rocks are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rocks form when molten rock, or magma, cools and hardens. Sedimentary rocks result from erosion of any rock type, followed by depositing the resulting sediment into a natural basin, and finally cementing the sediment into stone. Metamorphic rocks form when any rock is subjected to great heat and pressure, but not enough heat to melt the rock.
Before You Buy a Rock Collection at
This site is a great starting point for kids of all ages who collect rocks, minerals and fossils.
Other Sites on Rock Collecting:
2) Rock Collecting by Rachel M. Barker
3) Rocks for Kids
4) Start a Rock Collection at OLogy
Rock Cycle
The rock cycle is a group of changes. Igneous rock can change into sedimentary or metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks can change into metamorphic or igneous rock. Metamorphic rock can also change into the other kinds of rock.
Related Websites:
2) Interactive Rock Cycle Animation . . . .cfm
3) Rock and the Rock Cycle
4) Rock Cycle from the Mineralogical Society of America
5) Rock Cycle
6) Rock Cycle
7) Rock Cycle at Beyond Books - Earth Science Pt. 2
8) Stupid Page of Rocks
Find out what you need to use to gather great rock specimens! Your geology expert, Vic, will show you what equipment you should use, how to use it safely, and how to carefully bring back the rocks that you find!
Rock Hound Collection Safety
This information is meant to help collectors remain conscious of some of the dangers associated with rock hunting.
Other Preparedness and Safety Websites:
2) Field Trip Safety Rules by G.J. Kuban
3) Start Collecting
4) Rock Hound Collection Safety
After visiting several of the websites, complete some of these rocks and minerals activities and projects:
Make a Rockhounds Safety Poster. First visit sites like Rock Hound Collection Safety to learn what equipment you should use, how to use it safely, and how to safely bring back the rocks that you find!
Test Your Rock Identification Skill. Go to D. Peck's Rock Identification Key and see if you can correctly identify the rocks. A visit to sites such as Rock Identification and How are Rocks Classified? may also provide added help. You might also try the Rock Identification Test.
Start a Rock Collection. You can be a rock collector anywhere. And you can limit your collection to small-size rocks. Start by collecting and identifying the top 25 rocks in your area.
 Websites By Kids For Kids
Adventures of Mineral Man & Rockhound (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Here are fun puzzles for you to solve, interesting photos, pictures, and interviews with real rock experts: geologists and earth science professionals. The site also has information about starting your own rock collection.
Diamonds in the Rough (ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Learn about diamonds and the Crater of Diamonds State Park, Murfreesboro, Arkansas.
Rock Collecting Locations
To get access our index to websites for rock, mineral, and fossil collecting sites in the United States and Canada, go to Rock Collecting Sites.
Lots More Rocks and Minerals Websites
Bob's Rock Shop
This is a huge online publication for rock collectors and lapidary hobbyists. The Shop is a noncommercial site in that the rocks and mineral specimens displayed here are 'Not for Sale', but you are welcome to browse all you like.
Collecting Rocks by Rachel M. Barker (U.S. Geological Survey)
This online publication of the USGS has good startup information about collecting.
Other Useful USGS Web Publications:
2) Gemstones: An Overview
3) Fossils, Rocks, and Time
4) Gold by Harold Kirkemo, William L. Newman, and Roger P. Ashley
5) Information on Prospecting
6) Natural Gemstones
7) Prospecting for Gold in the United States by Harold Kirkemo
Diamond Deception at NOVA Online
You can look inside and learn about a diamond or find out about other gemstones like jade, opal, pearl, and more within the 'Primer of Gemstones' section.
Another Gemstone Identification Site:
2) Mineral Identification Site
The Fossil Hunter
Here you can locate collecting sites, links, and good information for fossil hounds and other rock geeks.
Another Site for a Fossil Hunter:
2) Fossils and Fossil Collecting
3) Frequently Asked Questions about Paleontology

Geology Online from Illinois State Museum
Here you can find lesson plans and resources that are designed around rocks, minerals, and related artifacts.
He's Nothing But a Rock Hound, A Diggin' All The Time
Do you like rocks? If so, you are a rock hound, a person who collects and studies rocks and minerals.
Kreigh's Web Resources Collection for Rockhounds
Here you will find a large collection of links and original information for Rockhounds about geology, minerals, fossils, lapidary, rock clubs, and other related subjects.
Mama's Minerals in Cyberspace
This site features information on minerals, rocks, fossils, meteorites, rockhounding equipment, and links to lots more.
Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom
This is an outstanding site filled with information, identification data, and photographs of the gem and mineral world.
More Rock & Mineral Websites:
2) Buena Vista Gem Works
3) Cape Cod Rocks
4) Dakota Matrix Minerals
5) F.W.Bull Mineral Collection
6) Gem Gallery
7) Ken's Fluorescent Minerals
8) Mineral Gallery
9) Mineral Gallery
10) Mineral Identification Site
11) Rocks and Minerals (Kentucky Geological Survey)
12) Rocks and Minerals
13) Textures of Igneous Rocks
14) Textures and Structures of Sedimentary Rocks
Rockdoctors Guide to Minerals and Rocks
This site provides basic information on rock and mineral identification. The site utilizes photos and includes a handy identification key for several types of common rocks and minerals.
Rockology 101
This website introduces you to common rocks and minerals with some great tidbits of historical background.
Rocks and Minerals
This links-site connects to research and informational websites. Find out the age of rocks, identify types of rocks, learn how rocks are formed and the rock cycle, learn to tell rocks and minerals apart, and take a quiz.
Other Rock and Mineral Links-Sites:
2) All About Quartz Crystals
3) Benson's Mineral Links
4) Rocks and Minerals at Nearctica, Kids Section
5) Rocks and Minerals at Nearctica
6) Uses of Rocks and Minerals
Reference Sites
Ask-A-Geologist at U.S. Geological Survey
Before you submit a question, be sure to read the guidelines. But if you still have a question about rocks or minerals, then follow the procedures to Ask-A-Geologist.
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, administers 264 million acres of America's public lands, located primarily in the 12 Western States. If you are collecting rocks, minerals, or fossils on BLM lands, you should check to assure you are collecting in accordance to all laws and regulations.
Related BLM Websites:
2) Rock Collecting Guide: Oregon & Washington
Websites for Teachers
Determining Age of Rocks and Fossils by Frank K. McKinney (Grade 8-9)
Some very straightforward principles are used to determine the age of fossils. Students should be able to understand the principles and have that as a background so that age determinations by paleontologists and geologists don't seem like black magic.
Lesson Plan by Tammy Payton at Rockhounds (Grade K-8)
 By using the resources on this web-based activity, students will gain an understanding of the rock cycle including how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form.
Rock Classification (Grade 4)
Students will sort and classify rocks and minerals using distinguishing physical characteristics.
Rock Collecting (Grades K-1)
This activity will provide students with an opportunity to use the five senses while comparing rocks and organizing the data.
Thematic Unit Rocks and Minerals (Grade 1-2)
Students will expand their knowledge of rocks by exploring the characteristics of local rocks.
mine safety
Mohs Scale
petrified wood
Keokuk geode
rock candy
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 1/01.