Ground Rules - Mining Lesson Plans (Ages 11-18)


This set of lesson plans was developed by Science North, commissioned by Caterpillar to accompany the Ground Rules film. It provides a tool for educators to further examine the themes and concepts presented in the film through a series of “hands-on” classroom activities. It introduces students to the various phases involved in mining, different types of mines, how ore is processed, how mineral deposits were formed, how modern mines can operate safely and sustainably, and why minerals are important to our everyday lives. This material also introduces students to a wide variety of mining careers.

The lesson plans have been designed to broadly complement the curriculum objectives for the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, the lesson plans are not region-specific and can be used by educators throughout the world. All of the lesson plans have strong linkages to the earth science curriculum, but many of the activities incorporate additional linkages to math, chemistry, data management, mapping, environmental studies, electricity, magnetism and problem-solving. The lesson plans can be easily adapted to meet specific local curriculum goals.

In each lesson plan, an introductory section provides the appropriate film chapter reference and describes the key concepts for the lesson.  One or two activities are then described in a step-by-step format. These activities include experiments, demonstrations, games, building activities, and research projects. The lesson plans end with a discussion section that provides possible follow-up topics and questions for classroom discussion. Each lesson plan also includes curriculum linkages, a vocabulary list, a materials list, and approximate timelines for completion of each section. Teacher answer sheets or data sheets are appended, where appropriate.

The lesson plans are organized into five broad themes: Geology; Mining; Mining Processes; Ore Processing; and Minerals and Everyday Life.  The lesson plans are further sub-divided into three age categories: 11 to 13 years; 13 to 15 years; and 15 to 18 years. In many cases, the same topics are covered in each age category. However, lesson plans in the older age categories contain additional activities, alternative age-appropriate activities, and/or enhanced complexity.


Lesson plans in English - Complete Set

This file contains 75 English-language lesson plans for ages 11-13, 13-15, 15-18 in all five themes as described above. Individual sets of lesson plans are available below.

Get All Lesson Plans in English

Planes de Lecciones en Español - Juego Completo

Este archivo contiene planes de lecciones en español para las edades de 11-13, 13-15, 15-18 en los cinco temas. Los conjuntos individuales de planes de lecciones están disponibles a continuación.

Obtenga Planes de Lecciones

Request a Copy of the Film on DVD

Caterpillar is pleased to make complimentary copies of "Ground Rules" available on DVD to teachers, industry professionals and other educators.

Learn How to Request Your DVD

"Ground Rules: Mining Right for a Sustainable Future" Available on DVD

Caterpillar is pleased to make complimentary copies of "Ground Rules" available on DVD to teachers, industry professionals and other educators.

Learn How to Request Your DVD

Access Individual Chapters of "Ground Rules: Mining Right for a Sustainable Future"




Turkish (Subtitles)

Also available:

Chinese (Subtitles) - Full Film

Armenian - Full Film

Portuguese - Full Film