Geology Trail - Stage 4-5 Teacher Notes

Students complete three self-guided activities using both the Albert Chapman Mineral Collection and the Planet of Minerals exhibitions. These activities are designed to expose students to the vast number and variety of rocks and minerals that exist and to increase their awareness and wonderment of nature. Students will learn about the colour of minerals, the three types of rocks – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic and Australia’s geological wealth.

Planet of Minerals Exhibition

Planet of Minerals Exhibition
Photographer: Carl Bento © Australian Museum

Before Your Visit

Syllabus links:

This program addresses the following areas of the NSW Board of Studies Science Years 7 -10 syllabus:

  • 4/5.2 - the nature and practice of science.
  • 4.9.6 - the lithosphere.
  • 5.9.2 - The theory of plate tectonics.
  • 5.9.4 - natural events.
  • 4/5.15 - uses given criteria to gather first-hand data.
  • 4/5.16 - accesses information from identified secondary sources.
  • 4/5.17 - evaluates the relevance of data and information.
  • 4/5.19 - draws conclusions based on information available.
  • 4/5.20 - uses an identified strategy to solve problems.
  • 4/5.22 - undertakes a variety of individual and team tasks with guidance.
  • 4/5.22.1 - working individually.
  • 4/5.22.2 - working in teams.
Pre-visit activities

To make the most of your visit to the exhibition we recommend that you prepare your students beforehand by:

  • introducing concepts related to:
    o geology is the study of the earth
    o rocks are made-up of grains of one or more minerals
    o there are three types of rocks – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic
    o hot spots are weaknesses in the earth’s crust where new rock is created via volcanic activity
    o rocks and minerals are often found as ores and are mined
  • providing a context for the excursion to the Museum including the reasons for visiting the Museum, the tasks to be completed and the expected outcomes.  

Please photocopy the following materials for each student:

The following materials should be photocopied for each supervising adult:

At the Australian Museum

The activities enable students to explore concepts related to minerals, rocks, the dynamic earth and Australia’s geological wealth while surrounded by a rich array of beautiful specimens.There are three self-guided activities based in different sections of the exhibition spaces. The activities are:

  • Activity A: Minerals and Colour!
  • Activity B: Types or Rocks
  • Activity C: Australia’s Geological Wealth 
Organisational tips
  • Use the Museum Guide Map to guide the students to the Planet of Minerals and Albert Chapman Mineral Collection located on Level 1 of the Museum.
  • All students will complete three activities by the end of the one hour session.
  • The class group will be divided into three smaller groups and assigned one of the activities to commence with.
  • After approximately 15 minutes the groups will be asked to move on to another of the activities and then after a further 15 minutes on to the final activity until each student has completed each activity.

Laura McBride , Creative Producer
Last Updated:

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