What's Your Stone? Gemstones and Their Stories

What's Your Stone? Gemstones and Their Stories
Edith Wilson: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Skill: Middle School
Time Required: One to two class periods


Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 3
People, Places, and Environments
NCSS Strand 1
Culture
NCSS Strand 9
Global Connections
NCTE Standard 1
Students read fiction, nonfiction, classic, and contemporary works to acquire information for various purposes.
NCTE Standard 3
Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
NCTE Standard 5
Students use a wide range of strategies and elements to write to communicate with different audiences and for purposes.
NCTE Standard 12
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.
ISTE Standard 5
Technology research tools

Introduction:

Gemology, the scientific study of gemstones, is a fascinating field of earth science.  Edith Wilson inherited a jewelry store from her husband and ran it successfully for many years.  She was certainly familiar with the association of particular stones with months of the year.

Objectives:

The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with the world of precious and semi-precious stones and the history of their use.    

Materials Required:

Access to Internet Access to print reference materials, including atlases Standard art supplies

Procedures:

1.  Group students by month of birth.  Using the list below, assign each group their gemstone.  As beginning gemologists, their task is to research their stone and learn its composition, describe it, locate sources on a map, create pictures/drawings of notable examples of their stone, describe the stories, legends, or curses related to their stone, etc. 

  • January:  garnet
  • February:  amethyst
  • March:  aquamarine
  • April:  diamond
  • May:  emerald
  • June:  cultured pearl
  • July:  ruby
  • August:  peridot
  • September:  sapphire
  • October:  opal
  • November:  citrine
  • December: blue topaz or acquamarine
2.  Ask students to choose their favorite stories and present them to the class.
 

Extending the Lesson:

The teacher may choose for this to be an individual project if the class is small and/or the resources adequate to support several identical simultaneous searches.

Sources & Resources:

Websites:
Credits:
This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.