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Rocks and Minerals

Though the unit is titled rocks and minerals, you’ll be touching on much, much more if you introduce the following titles. Perhaps you’ll begin with some books on rock collecting, classification, and physical properties. Maybe your focus will be on natural processes such as weathering, erosion, global warming, mountain building, volcanoes and earthquakes. The sources and uses of rocks and minerals may be of interest-- or what about concentrating on caves or crystals? These topics, and many more, are covered in the following.

See "Connecting Technology and Books" to find a selection of rock and mineral websites which complement these titles.

Baylor, Byrd. (1974). Everybody Needs a Rock. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
“If you can, go to a mountain made out of nothing but a hundred million small shiny beautiful roundish rocks. But if you can’t, any place will do. Even an alley, Even a sandy road.” That is the first of ten rules that the author shares on how to find your own special rock.

Curlee, Lynn. (1999). Rushmore. New York: Scholastic.
Details abound in this tribute to the patriotic monument. Curlee presents the story of Mt. Rushmore from its inception to its completion.

Hooper, Meredith. (1996). The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth. New York: Viking.
In her history of the earth, Hooper takes readers back 480 million years and moves through the geological time periods to track the path of one little pebble.

Hurst, Carol Otis. (2001). Rocks in His Head. New York: HarperCollins.
When people said Hurst's father had rocks in his head, they weren't wrong about this man whose lifelong love of rocks eventually led to a job at the Springfield Museum of Science.

Kittinger, Jo. S. (1997). A Look at Rocks: From Coal to Kimberlite. Danbury:Franklin Watts.
Although this book touches upon rock collecting, the real strengths are the numerous visual presentations and textual information pertaining to the three categories of rock. (For younger readers try Let’s Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans, 1997, New York: HarperCollins.)

Kramer, Stephen. (1995). Caves. Minneapolis: The Lerner Publishing Group.
This book defines what a cave is, describes various types of caves, explores cave life, provides information about cave safety and addresses proper caving behavior.

Lauber, Patricia. (1986). Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens. New York: Simon & Schuster.
The Newbery Honor Book tells the story of Mount St. Helens through a successful blend of beautiful photographs and outstanding text. (Another winning volume on volcanoes is Volcanoes by Seymour Simon, 1988, New York: Morrow/Avon.)

McNulty, Faith. (1979). How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World. New York: HarperCollins.
What does it take to dig a hole to the other side of the world and what will you find along the way? McNulty explores the possibilities, presenting information in a manner that mingles light-hearted humor with facts.

Minor, Wendell. (1998). Grand Canyon. New York: Scholastic.
You'll gain a unique perspective of the Grand Canyon from the lyrical text and watercolor paintings of artist Wendell Minor.

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. (2000). Shaping the Earth. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
The earth has changed dramatically over 4.5 billion years. Patent investigates the forces, including humans, which have helped to bring about those changes.

Peters, Lisa Westberg, (1990). The Sun, the Wind, and the Rain. New York: Henry Holt.
“This is the story of two mountains. The earth made one. Elizabeth in her yellow sun hat made the other.” The book features side-by-side narration and illustrations to show how the earth makes a mountain and how similar the process is to that experienced by young Elizabeth as she made her mountain, on the beach, out of sand.

Ray, Mary Lyn. (1996). Mud. New York: Harcourt, Inc.
You can almost hear the “squish, suck, sop, splat, slurp” of the mud. (Also look for Mud Matters by Jennifer Owings Dewey, 1998, Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish)

Ricciuti, Edward R. (1998). National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals. New York: Scholastic.
This first field guide focuses on fifty common rocks and minerals and provides more limited information on 120 others. The guide details the properties, colors, and environment for each mineral and rock as well as color photos. (In addition, there’s Rocks & Minerals by R. F. Symes, 2000, New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing.)

Simon, Seymour. (1994). Mountains. New York: Morrow/Avon.
Simon’s exquisite descriptions measure up to the book’s outstanding photographs of some of the most majestic mountains in the world.

Symes, R. F. & Harding, Roger. (2000). Crystal & Gem. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing.
One of the strengths of this book is the numerous color photographs of the crystals which are each accompanied by tidbits of information, including where the crystal is found, how it is formed, its range of color, and its uses.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.