Observations and Identification

What Kind of Rock Is This?
ES0610  Observations and Identification

Read each question on the left below, and answer it for your specific rock sample.

3. Click "yes" on the statement that best describes your sample. Continue choosing the best statement to describe your sample until you reach the rock name.

4. When you think you have reached the correct name for your sample, refer to chapter 6 in your textbook for a description to check yourself. Record the rock type and rock name in your table.

Note: The photographs of rocks on these pages illustrate magnified views of rocks. The appearance of your samples will most likely be different. Concentrate on answering the questions within the investigation rather than visually matching your sample with the photographs.


Does the rock contain fragments of rocks or fossils?


Does the rock contain


Does the rock look glassy?


Does the rock have pores?


Does the rock appear homogeneous?


Does the rock
contain interlocking

All images Matthew Nyman, TERC

  !   If you said "No" to all the questions, reexamine your rock with a hand lens or magnifying glass. Look at the sample from all angles. Concentrate on freshly broken surfaces to determine the rock’s composition and texture. Return to the top of the page and choose the best statement for your rock.

 Step:   1   2