Rock Identification Key


Dichotomous key for 18 common rocks

Rock identification key | dichotomous key | backyard rock key | identify common rocks | rock properties

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So you have a rock but you don’t know what it is? Well, I’d have to say that happens all the time. There are so many different rocks and they are hard to identify. This handy dichotomous rock key will help!

Hands-on identifications using rock properties like luster, grain size, hardness, and streak.  Don’t worry if you don’t know how to spot each of these properties.  The key includes pages detailing exactly how to use the key and identify each property.

This rock key has 18 common, backyard rock types that you can easily move through the key and identify.  Use it for homeschool lesson or in the classroom.

– Anthracite (sedimentary)
– Basalt (igneous)
– Chert/Flint (sedimentary)
– Conglomerate (sedimentary)
– Diabase (igneous)
– Gabbro (igneous)
– Gneiss (metamorphic)
– Granite (metamorphic)
– Limestone (sedimentary)
– Marble (metamorphic)
– Obsidian (igneous)
– Pumice (igneous)
– Quartzite (metamorphic)
– Rhyolite (igneous)
– Sandstone (sedimentary)
– Schist (metamorphic)
– Serpentinite (metamorphic)
– Shale (semdimentary)

Or grab the full Meet the Rocks Lesson about rock properties here.

What People are Saying about the Rock Key
“Even though I do go over the rock cycle and rock identification with my 6th grade class, I actually purchased this for my partner. He’s in college to become a teacher and he was having a terrible time getting ready for the rock identification test in his geology class. I bought this for him as a study aide, and it made all the difference for him. All of the pieces fell into place for him as soon as he reviewed it, and he aced his rock identification test! Thank you so much!”


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