In this fun and easy geology science experiment, we’re going to explore and investigate one simple method to identify rocks using a common household item you probably already have in your kitchen.
  • Several rock specimens
  • Limestone specimen
  • Marble specimen
  • Lemon juice


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  1. Pour lemon juice over the rock specimens.
  2. The lemon juice will bubble on some of the specimens.
  3. Specimens that contains a carbonate form of calcium will bubble. This reaction helps geologists segment out specimens and begin to identify the rocks. Your limestone specimen is composed primarily of calcium carbonate and should bubble when dripped with lemon juice. This is just one method to help geologists attempt to identify rocks. 


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun exploring this method of identifying rocks. 

Rock Detectives: Fun Facts and Tips for Identifying Rocks


  1. Rocks come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are smooth and round, while others are rough and jagged.

  2. One way to identify rocks is by their hardness. You can use a simple test called the scratch test, where you try to scratch the rock's surface with different objects like a nail or a penny. If the rock gets scratched easily, it is likely a softer rock.

  3. Another clue to identify rocks is their density. Some rocks are heavier and denser than others. You can compare the weight of a rock to that of other objects of known weight to get an idea of its density.

  4. Rocks also have different textures. Some may have visible grains or crystals, while others may be more compact and solid.

  5. Color can be a helpful clue too, although it's not always a definitive indicator. Some rocks have distinct colors like red, green, or black, while others may appear in a range of colors or even be colorless.

  6. Pay attention to the way a rock breaks. Some rocks have a characteristic way of breaking called cleavage, where they split along flat, smooth surfaces. Others may have a more irregular or jagged break.

  7. Don't forget about the rock's surroundings. The location and context in which you find a rock can give you hints about its type and formation.

  8. It's always a good idea to consult a field guide or use online resources to help you identify rocks. There are many resources available that provide information and images of different rock types.

Remember, identifying rocks can be like solving a mystery, and being observant and curious are key skills for any rock detective!

Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons about rocks, geology, and more!
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  1. What is one way to identify rocks based on their physical properties? a) Taste them b) Smell them c) Scratch them d) Listen to them

    Correct answer: c) Scratch them

  2. Which of the following is NOT a clue to identify rocks? a) Texture b) Weight c) Color d) Taste

    Correct answer: d) Taste

  3. What can the surroundings of a rock tell you about its identity? a) The rock's weight b) The rock's color c) The rock's formation and type d) The rock's age

    Correct answer: c) The rock's formation and type