Michigan Rocks



Learning Goals

Instructional Sequence



General Background Information on Michigan Geology

General Geology of Michigan website
 A brief description of the general geology of Michigan

Lansing Community College Mineral and Rock sets

Order from:
Earth Science Educator's Supply
P.O. Box 503
Lee's Summit, MO 64063

**When ordering, specifically request the Lansing Community College Mineral and Rock set.


Minerals 4 Kids
This website contains links to Mineral Properties, Mineral Groups, Minerals in Your House and Mineral Games.  It also includes a link to explore the rock cycle.

San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM) Mineral Matters
This site provides information on how to test for the identity of minerals.

The Rock Cycle

Rocks and the Rock Cycle website
This is an interactive site that provides information about the rock cycle.  Students can choose a process in the rock cycle and learn how each classification of rocks change over geologic time.

USGS Rocks and Images
This site explains how the history of the Earth is understood and interpreted using the record found in rocks to tell the story.  There are links that explain igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks also found at this site.

The DEQ Rock Cycle of Michigan (pdf)

Glossary for Rock Cycle of Michigan (pdf)

Geology in Michigan: Index of Files
This comprehensive website contains a huge amount of information related to the geology of Michigan.  Within this website are links to the following sites, plus many more:

  • The Rock Cycle in Michigan
  • Rock Cycle Reference Materials
  • Rock Cycle Glossary
  • Mineralogy of Michigan
  • Michigan Fossil Poster Plus
  • Mineraology of Michigan

Mining Technology in Michigan

Mining Engineering at Michigan Tech website - Michigan mining history links:

  • Virtually tour mines located in the western Upper Peninsula
  • Visit museum displays that focus on mining in Michigan
  • Explore Michigan Parks and Sites that have a history of mining

The Dynamic Earth – National Museum of Natural History website

  • Explore the properties of minerals and gems at Gems and Minerals or
  • Learn how rocks form and change and how people mine rock and valuable earth materials at Rocks and Mining or
  • Explore the GeoGallery database to find records of gems minerals, rocks, volcanoes and meteorites.

Rush for Riches 
This website journeys through the mines of America.  Explore Kinds of Mines, What We Mine, Meet The Miners, History, Mining and You, The Cybermine, U.S. Hot Map (click on Michigan for more information on mining in Michigan), Strange Facts and Activities at this site.

Geologic Time

The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis
The Geologic Time Line is divided into periods with a photograph of a representative fossil shown from that period.

Geo Mysteries: Geologic timeline website
“Dive into the depths of time” with the geologic timeline.

The Geologic Time Scale (pdf)
A visual representation to help define geologic time.

Michigan’s Stratigraphic Column (pdf)
A diagram of the layers of rock under the surface of Michigan.

Michilogic Time Line (pdf)

Paleontology Without Walls website
Berkeley’s site features exhibits on phylogeny (the “family tree” of Life) and geologic time.  In geologic time, you can explore any period of geologic time.  This site is titled the Geologic Time Machine.

Fossil Sites

This site includes information about Geologic Time, Relative Time Scale, Major Divisions of Geologic Time, Index Fossils, Radiometric Time Scale, and Age of the Earth.

Da Yooper’s Guide to Michigan Fossils website
This site focuses on fossils found in Michigan. There are links to geologic ages describes as Michigan Fossil Eras, and links to Brachiopods and Cephalopods. The site also includes links and information about Michigan Gold, Isle Royale Greenstone, Kona Dolomite, Lake Superior Agates, Native Copper, Puddingstone, Thomsonite, and Unakite.

The Paleontology Portal website
This is an excellent site for Michigan geology and fossils of Michigan.

DEQ: Geology in Michigan website
This website contains a section devoted to information about Michigan geologic time and the fossils of Michigan.

Fossils of Michigan Poster
This site contains one page of photographs of common Michigan fossils and a second page of information about these fossils (the geologic age, the type of fossil).

Michigan Basin

Features of the MI Basin website

National Atlas.gov
This website provides both a geologic map of Michigan that features the MI Basin and a relief map of Michigan that illustrates the topography of the state.  The basin feature in Michigan is briefly explained.

The Paleontology Portal
This site outlines the ages of rock in Michigan. One can also choose a specific geologic time from a menu and see the areas in Michigan where that age of rock material is present (http://www.paleoportal.org/time_space/state.php?name=Michigan). This site directly correlates to the model-building of the Michigan Basin (Lesson 7).

Simplified Block Diagram of the MI Basin (pdf)
This website provides a poster of the block drawing of the Michigan basin.  The geologic ages of sediments are mapped with a key to the age of earth material.

Student Resources

Rocks and Minerals Internet Hunt website
This internet search provides websites to help students find the answers to questions such as, “What is the difference between a mineral and a rock?”  Links are provided for every question to guide students to the answers.

Rocks and Minerals Detective
This webquest asks participants to collect clues about minerals and rocks and determine how each is used.  Six questions guide the search for information about earth materials.  Technology is integrated through a multimedia presentation of information.

Rocks and Minerals Slide Show website
This shows pictures of minerals and rocks of the most common earth materials.  Mineral descriptions include physical properties, chemical composition and uses.  Rock descriptions include the physical characteristics of common rocks and a story about the formation of the rock, including the processes that have acted on that rock in the rock cycle.

This Planet Really Rocks! All About Rocks and Minerals website
This site includes a pull down menu to explore minerals (what a mineral is, how minerals are used, how to test minerals) and rocks (what a rock is, the classifications of rocks: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic, and the rock cycle.  The site also offers rock jokes and riddles.

Trade Books
(Click on link to download word document containing information about books)

Everybody Needs a Rock

If You Find a Rock

Stone Wall Secrets

The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth

What's Under the Bed

If You are a Hunter of Fossils

Reference Books for MI Geology

Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks)
by Chris Pellant, Helen Pellant, & Harry Taylor
DK Publishing Inc. (2002)

Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)
by Edward R. Ricciuti & Margaret W. Carruthers
Scholastic (1998)

Eyewitness Explorers: Rocks and Minerals
by Steve Parker, Peter Visscher, N.J. Hewetson, & Raymond Turvey
DK Publishing Inc. (1997)

Science Organization Websites

Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association

Michigan Science Teachers Association

National Science Teachers Association