Print the Identifying Minerals reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
All rocks are made up of minerals. Rocks have different colors, textures, and shapes. Some rocks or minerals are very hard. Some are soft.
A gemstone is a mineral that is rare and beautiful. Color, luster, radiance, and hardness are properties that make a mineral valuable as a gemstone. Diamonds, rubies, opals, emeralds, and sapphires are all gemstones.
Minerals are identified by their physical properties. A physical property is something you can see, feel, taste, touch, or smell. You can learn to identify many common minerals by paying attention to or testing these properties. The first is color. Some minerals are usually one color, but some can be different colors. You cannot identify a mineral by color alone, but it is a useful property to use for identification. The second is form. Does it have a crystal shape or grainy fibers?
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