Properties of Rocks: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 What Is a Property?
  • 0:33 Color & Texture
  • 1:19 Shape & Size
  • 1:50 Luster
  • 2:15 Hardness
  • 2:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Rocks are everywhere! You have definitely seen rocks before and maybe even learned about them in school. This lesson will teach you all about the different properties, or characteristics, of rocks.

What Is a Property?

A property is a way of describing how something looks; it's an attribute or characteristic. Different rocks, which are solid materials made up of one or more minerals, have various properties that make each unique.

Scientists who study rocks are called geologists, and they use properties of rocks to sort rocks into different categories and to identify new rocks. Before you read more, go outside and find a rock. Then you can describe your new rock using all the properties below!

Color & Texture

Rocks can be a wide variety of colors, from black to purple to yellow, and some rocks can be more than one color. Have you ever seen a piece of quartz? This type of rock is sometimes used to make countertops and even glass, and it can come in blue, brown, pink, purple and red. It can even be completely colorless!

The streak of a rock is the color of a rock when it is crushed into a powder. Sometimes, the streak of a rock is a different color than the rock itself. What color (or colors) is your rock and its streak?

The word texture refers to how a rock feels. When you hold your rock in your hand, does it feel bumpy? Smooth? Rocks have different textures because of their grain size, which is the size of sand or smaller minerals that make up the rock.

Shape & Size

Rocks can be so many different sizes. Did you know that both a grain of sand and a huge mountain are rock? Your rock is probably somewhere between these two sizes. Every rock also has a distinctive shape. Is your rock round? Is it shaped like a rectangle or a pyramid?

The varying shapes and sizes of rock are caused by the way rocks are formed, how they're created inside the Earth's layers and, when they make their way to Earth's surface, how the wind, water, and other elements wear away at them.

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