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.
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.
Her 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.