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Polishing English Skills by Studying Stones

Third grade West Kelloggsville students learning English have become mini-gemologists at school, studying facts about agate, mystic blue quartz, brown citrine and an array of other shiny, shimmery stones.

“It looks like a flower,” said Alejandra Paniqua, lifting up a Lake Superior agate.Angel Rosales reads about copper

The six-week project included making a notebook containing writing entries about their gems, visual displays with information and fun facts and research. It culminated in a Gem Gallery Walk, in which they presented their work to students and teachers.

“Each student is an expert on their particular gem,” said English Language teacher, Katy Andreini who used her late father’s gem collection for the project.

“We grew up collecting rock in the Upper Peninsula: agates, Petoskey Stones and others,” she said.

Mariana Silva presents information on Michigan GreenstoneHer father would polish the stones, showcasing their impressive colors and detail.

Mariana Silva studied a Michigan Greenstone, or Chlorastrolite, found on the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Penisula and Isle Royale in Lake Superior.

It’s the Michigan state gem,” Mariana said.

Listening and speaking skills are important for all students, and critical to mastering a new language, like these students are. This project helped students overcome shyness and build confidence, Andreini said.

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Kelloggsville Public Schools

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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