Recently we took a field trip to a rock, gem and mineral show. This was my first, as well as the girls' first, trip to one of these shows. It was a lot of fun.
We attended a class arranged for our CC group. Each group of two or three kids was given a "rock identification kit." The teacher told the kids to take one rock at a time and had the kids take that rock through 5-6 tests to identify what kind of rock it was. The tests were: is it metallic? is it hard? is it dark? does it smell? does it taste salty? does it have cleavage?
One of the unknown rocks I think was chalk, because it wrote white on colored paper. Catherine loved that. The orange sheet in front of Catherine shows the matrix of tests you do to identify the rock. Each question is answered "yes" or "no," which leads to the next question.
This was a great field trip! To be honest, I don't think my girls could name a single rock and there is certainly no way they could use the "system" they were taught to identify an unknown rock. But, they were introduced to the fact that there is huge variety of rocks in the world and you can conduct tests on them to identify them. Which is about as much as I know about the world of rocks!