Sample descriptive words for rocks
Square or rectangular
Pitted (tiny holes all over it)
Transparent (you can see through it)
Translucent (light comes through it)
Crystalline (has crystals in it)
Magnetic (a paper clip is attracted to it)
Brown: tan, beige, muddy brown, cardboard brown, Snuffleupagus brown, dark brown, mahogany, chocolate, taupe, mocha, Cocoa Puff brown, sandy brown, leaf brown, cinnamon, khaki, oatmeal, ecru
Gray: dark gray, light gray, elephant gray, storm gray, fog gray, smoky gray, pale gray, shadow gray, silver, steel gray, cement gray, computer gray, lead gray
Black: shiny black, midnight black, ebony, oily black, dull black, tire black, ink black, sooty black, spider black, patent leather black, licorice
White: milk white, marshmallow white, cloud white, ghost white, paper white, polar bear, ivory, cream, snowflake, moon white, vanilla, eggshell, winter white
Questions to ask
Can you scratch it with your fingernail?
Can you write or make marks on paper with it?
What does it smell like?
It is as big (or as small) as…
What happens when you rub it?
Does it change color if you put a drop of water on it?
What could you use it for?
Is it lighter or heavier than other rocks of a similar size?
It reminds me of…
It has ____________ (holes? dents? fossils? crystals? bubbles?) in it.
Where did you find it? How do you think it got there?
Cleavage - how it breaks—whether the break is flat, like the surface of a crystal, or rough, like there are no crystals
Luster - how the surface reflects light—whether it is shiny or dull
Hardness - how hard the rock is—whether it can be scratched by a fingernail or a penny or a steel file (or only by a diamond, the hardest mineral)
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