Welcome to the Junior Rockhound! This free online magazine introduces children to the world of rocks, minerals, fossils and geology in general. Articles presented here will help children learn about the three basic rock types found on the earth, how to identify and classify rocks and minerals, and how to start a collection. Included are guidelines on collecting and field trip safety information. We hope you enjoy this magazine. Marilyn Fraser and Dirk Schmid, M.Sc.
What are Rocks and Minerals?
Quintinite-2H crystals, from Jacupiranga, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Quintin Wight, Canadian Museum of Nature. ©1999.
The Rock Cycle. Click on the image to see the complete diagram.
This page explains the difference between a mineral and a rock, and what minerals are used for.
How to tell minerals apart
The earth contains many minerals. How do we tell them apart? This page describes a few simple methods for identifying the more common minerals.
Making a Mineral Identifier
Instructions for creating cards for identifying minerals.
Classifying your Rocks
Learn what the three basic rock types are. Once you know, you can begin classifying rocks.
The Rock Cycle
Where do rocks come from? How are they formed? This page shows a diagram of the processes involved in making rocks. (Graphic, 147 kb)
This page explains what igneous rocks are, how they are formed, and the different types that are found.
Learn what metamorphic rocks are and how they are formed.
Sedimentary rock is the third basic type of rock. This page explains what sedimentary rocks are and how they are formed.
Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift Theory
Earth as seen from space.
Learn what tectonic plates are and how continents move. (External link to "Rockhounding Arkansas")
Geological Time Scale
Learn what geologic time is, and how geologists (the scientists who study rocks) use it to tell how old a rock is.
Geology and Natural Disasters
Article by Dave Liverman and Martin Batterson, Newfoundland Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey, 1994.
Starting your first Rock and Mineral Collection
Barite, from the Rock Candy Mine, B.C. Photo courtesy of Chris Rylands.
Rockhounds are people who collect rocks. But how do you start a collection? Here are some helpful tips.
Organizing your Collection
Once you have your rocks and minerals, how do you store and catalogue them? Here are some guidelines for organizing the rocks and minerals in your collection.
Preparing for a Field Trip
Before you go on a field trip to collect rocks and minerals, here are some things you should take with you.
When planning a field trip to collect rocks and minerals, one of the first things you want to do is get a map of the area. Click here to learn about maps.
During summer holidays you may be going on a field trip. Here are some important rules to keep in mind, so that you will have a good and safe trip.
Code of Conduct for Canadian Collectors
Guidelines for the collection of rocks, minerals and fossils, and the preservation of areas of scientific importance.
To learn more about rocks and minerals, try contacting a local club. Click on a province or territory below to see a list of clubs operating there. Local rock and mineral clubs can arrange a visit to your school and give a demonstration or arrange special educational field trips and workshops upon request.
You can also contact Canadian associations and
federations for more information. The Canadian Directory of Rock & Mineral Associations lists more than 100 clubs operating across Canada, and it includes contact information and meeting times for most clubs.
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