Preparing for the Gemstone Dig is a necessity, there will be a mess….albeit a FUN mess. We placed a table cloth and newspapers everywhere!Reading the materials included along with the well placed, easily readable bullet points on the packaging adds to the excitement of what will be uncovered on the gem dig.
Quickly, we realized that eye protection would be a good thing as pieces went flying EVERYWHERE as we began to break into the kit. Containing the excitement and enthusiasm is just NOT something to be wrangled. Hearing the excitement in their voices, everyone soon joined us in our mission.
Utilizing the digging tool, brush and magnifying glass included, we chipped away at the plaster until we got our first peek at the tiger’s eye gem. I tried to video, but standing on a chair with a camera proved as we all know, to be a bad decision on my part. Both kiddos jumped in utter excitement, knocking me and the camera out of any possible video!
One Gemstone Kit worked perfectly for the two children, working as a team taking turns is a skill necessary for all areas of learning and success. Progressing through our dig, I asked the kids if they would like to do something like this in their classroom. To my surprise, I received the following response: “Penny, can you get enough for our class?” These two think I can work miracles getting them access to super cool things to do in school and at home 🙂
The Gemstone Kit would be a wonderful culminating activity at the conclusion of a rocks and mineral unit. Working in pairs, students will be completely on task! Prior lessons on the three “gems” would definitely add to the excitement! Not that any more is needed.
The gems are enveloped in a plaster type substance where the tools provided work just fine. We decided to add to the tool set with our own larger magnifying glass, chisel and hammer allowing the process to proceed more quickly.
After locating two of the three gems, we realized the final gem was contained in one of the pieces previously chipped off. Gently, we hammered the pieces until we finally revealed the final gem. Can you guess what happened? Yep, we broke the gem with the hammer, causing a few tears….oops. The amethyst and quartz gems blend in with the white of the plaster making it a bit more difficult to see in contrast to the surrounding plaster.
If you are contemplating the Discover with Dr. Cool Gemstone Dig Kit for classroom use, allow ample time. This is one activity a teacher should perform on her own before attempting with a class in order to see what will be experienced by students. Guaranteed students grades K-6 (maybe higher) will enjoy and remember this truly awesome experience.