Rock Out with Identification Labels!

Organize, identify, label, and display your rocks and minerals

Recently someone donated a box full of minerals and rocks to my science class. I was so excited to have some new samples for my classroom until I realized that none of the rocks or minerals were correctly labeled. There were loose labels everywhere and most of the specimens did not even have labels. Thankfully, there are some AMAZING geologists on Instagram who helped me identify some of the samples. The rest of the identification was painful as I literally taste-tested, scratched, completed acid tests, and scoured the internet for matching pictures of my rocks.

Rock and mineral identification with a taste test
A geologist from Insta suggested I lick this rock to see if it was salty!

Eventually, I identified most of my samples and through this process decided to display some of the beauties I uncovered. My previous rock and mineral collection included a hodgepodge of various labels and I knew I wanted something that looked clean and consistent for all my samples.

Mineral labels include hardness, luster, streak.
Each mineral label includes defining characteristics such as streak, luster, and hardness.

I knew that my students would be handling these samples throughout the school year so I wanted my labels to be neat, clean, and LAMINATED! I thought by adding defining characteristics to the backs of these labels we could play matching games and students could really practice identifying the various minerals in small groups.

The rock labels include the rock classification which allows students to group rocks together and observe similarities within sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. After printing and laminating the labels I found these great display cases at Michael's in the unfinished wood section for $12 each. Each case has 24 cubbies so for a little bit of counter space I was able to display 48 samples! Check out the finished product below: