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Minerals are made of tiny units called atoms. Atoms stick together in bonds. Each mineral is built from a slightly different pattern of bonds. Some minerals have more atoms than others. The atoms also form different shapes. Scientists have figured out how to replicate certain mineral bond patterns. They can create some minerals in a lab. This video shows different lab grown diamonds.

Humans need minerals to stay healthy. Minerals help parts of the body work properly. For example, calcium makes bones and teeth hard. It also helps muscles move correctly. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk. People can also get calcium by eating green, leafy vegetables. Iron is a mineral found in blood. It helps carry nutrients to all parts of the body. People can get iron from beans, eggs, or red meat.

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Making Connections

Text-to-Self

There are many different kinds of minerals. Which minerals have you used or seen?

Text-to-Text

Have you read other books about natural resources? How were those resources different from minerals?

Text-to-World

Earth has a limited supply of minerals. What is one thing you wouldn’t be able to do if minerals ran out?

Teacher Resources

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