Processing & Impact of Minerals Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers teach their students about the environmental impact of mining. Students will use content-specific vocabulary terms to describe various types of mining and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Learning Objectives

After completing, students will be able to:

  • Describe various types of mining
  • Summarize the environmental impact of different types of mining
  • Use content-specific language to discuss mining and its environmental impact


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • NGSS.HS-ESS3-1

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

  • NGSS.HS-ESS3-2

Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.


  • Copies of the quiz
  • Access to computer/internet
  • Online presentation software or PowerPoint


  • acid mine drainage
  • longwall mining
  • open-pit mining
  • smelting
  • solution mining
  • strip mining
  • subsurface mining
  • surface mining

Video & Discussion

  • Watch the video: Extraction and Processing of Minerals & the Environmental Impacts of Mineral Use.
  • Pause after 'How Minerals Are Extracted From Earth' at 0:26 to ask the following questions:
    • What are some examples of minerals?
    • How are minerals extracted from the Earth?
  • Pause after 'Extracting Surface Minerals' at 1:41. Ask:
    • What is surface mining?
    • Explain some different types of surface mining.
  • Pause at 2:39 after 'Extracting Minerals Deep Underground' to discuss:
    • What is subsurface mining?
    • Describe the different types of subsurface mining.
  • Pause at 4:24 after 'The Harmful Effects of Mining'. Ask:
    • What are environmental effects of surface mining?
    • What are environmental effects of subsurface mining?
  • Watch the remainder of the video.
  • Answer any remaining questions and clear up any confusion that students might have then move on to the worksheet.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet to each student.
  • Have students complete the worksheet independently.
  • Check answers together as a class.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account