Lesson 1 Notes:
A mineral is a material formed int he earth from the matter that was never alive.
More than 4,000 kinds of minerals exist, each with it own properties, including color,
degree of luster (or shininess) and hardness. Rock colors are related to the
minerals they contain.
Rocks form in three ways, Igneous rocks such as granite form when melted material
(Magma) from deep in the earth rises toward the surface, cools, and hardens.
Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone form from layers or rock, soil, or shell that
were deposited in layers and then pressed and cemented into rock over millions of
years. Metamorphic rocks such as gneiss form when igneous or sedimentary rocks
are changed by heat and pressure deep in the earth.
A fossil is a hard material that has an imprint, mold, cast, or part of an organism that
lived long ago. Fossils give clues to past life on the earth.
Fossil fuels (oil, coal) form from organisms that lived millions of years ago. Most
coal formed from plant remains that collected at the bottom of the swamps. The
layers of remains were pressed together, forming coal over millions of years.
Oil formed from the remains of microscopic marine organisms on the ocean floor.
Sand and other material covered them. Over millions of years, chemical changes
turned the remains into oil.
A natural resource is a material that comes from the earth and can be used by living
things. Rocks and the minerals they contain are natural resources. Rocks are used
as building materials and fuels. Materials such as glass, metals, and iron and steel
are made from the minerals in rocks. Rocks called ores contain large amounts of
The process of extracting iron from iron ore developed historically in several regions
onf the world, including China, India, and the Middle East. The Iron Age began
somewhere between 1500 and 1000 B.C., By 1000 B.C., ironmaking was practiced
by most advanced civilizations.
History of Science Scientists throughout history have studied fossils. In the late
seventeenth century, Robert Hooks examined fossils of marine creatures. Charles Darwin
also studied fossils during the 1830s to help formulate his theory of evolution. The father of
U.S. paleontology the study of the fossil record is Edward Drinker cope (18401897),
who studied fossils of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles.