Print Minerals Reading Comprehension with Fifth Grade Work
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Print Minerals Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||cleavage, feldspar, glassy, inorganic, silicon, luster, characteristic, hardness, magma, calcite, talc, solution, identify, metallic, carbon, cooler
By Patti Hutchison
1 Minerals. They are all around us. We eat them, wear them, and build with them. What is a mineral? How are they identified? What can we do with them?
2 Earth's crust is made of about three thousand minerals. Only about thirty of them are common to us. A mineral is a solid with certain properties. First, it must occur in nature. Minerals are found, not made by humans.
3 Second, a mineral has never been alive. It is nonliving.
4 Another characteristic of a mineral is that it has a definite set of elements that make it up. It must also have the structure of a crystal.
5 A crystal is a solid. Its atoms are arranged in repeating patterns. Snowflakes are a type of crystal. You may also have seen ice crystals form on the grass when there is a frost. These are examples of what crystals look like. They are also examples of minerals.
6 There are two major ways minerals are formed. Some are formed from magma. You know that magma is liquid rock far below the Earth's surface. Sometimes magma is forced up into the cooler layers of the Earth. The elements in the magma form crystals when they cool. If magma cools quickly, the crystals in the mineral will be small. If it cools slowly, the crystals will be large.
7 Minerals also form from solutions. A solution can become saturated. It can't hold any more of whatever is dissolved in it. Minerals begin to fall out of it. Sometimes, the liquid in the solution is evaporated. Minerals are left behind.
8 Minerals are sorted into groups. One group is called silicates. They are made of oxygen and silicon. These are the two most common elements in the Earth's crust. Feldspar and quartz are the two most common minerals. They are examples of silicates.
9 Carbonates are another class of minerals. They are made of metallic (shiny) elements. These are combined with carbon and oxygen. These minerals often form rocks such as limestone and marble.
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