Gneiss {InstaScience}

Gneiss is a metamorphic rock that has banded structure due to the differing proportions of minerals. Click on over to learn about these rocks which glitter.

[Photo Credit – Siim Sepp, used with permission under Creative Commons]

As I write this, I have just finished another set of outlines for volume 5 in the Sassafras Science series. This one is all about geology, in other words, volcanoes, earthquakes, and rocks. One of the rocks that really caught my eye this time around was gneiss and I thought that I would share about it with you all this week!

Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock that is often confused with granite. This is because it can be used to replace granite as an inexpensive building material.

Gneiss is made mostly from feldspar, quartz, and mica. This type of rock is formed at very high temperature and pressure where the plates meet, which often causes the rock to melt and form dark and light wavy-swirling bands. These bands are typically shades of grey, pink, and white.

Fun Fact – Gneiss comes from the German word “gneist” which means spark (so called because the rock glitters).

Teaching Science at Home

Want to learn more about gneiss? Check out the following articles:

Related Homeschool Science Activities

Keep the learning going with these science activities!

  • Edible rocks – Make some edible rocks with your students.
  • Towel folds – Show your students how the folds in gneiss rock form using towels! Directions can be found here.