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My favorite geographical theme is crystals.

I am interested in this theme for many reasons,

crystals are beautiful biproducts of earths natural rock cycle, they have healing powers, and can be used
to identity ones socio-ecocomonic status throughout history, and even to the present day. I think that
the theme of crystals is important for it can be used as a hook to introduce a geological, a
humaniatairan, and even a business perspective in your Social Studies/Geography secondary classroom.
In this portfolio I focus on crystals that are associated with ones biological birth date, that is birthstones,
instead of a random assortment of crystals.
Those crystals include, from the website
Garnet (January, red)
Amethyst (Feburary, purple)
Aquamarine (March, blue)
Diamond (april, clear)
Emerald (May, green)
Alexandrite (June, green or purple)
Ruby (July, red)
Peridot (August, green)
Sapphire (September, blue)
Tourmaline (October, pink or green)
Topaz (November, light blue)
Tanzanite (december, medium dark blue)
Zircon (December, gold)
Turquoise (December, bluey green)

The reason why I chose to find resources for these crystals is due to the fact that it allows students a
chance to identify with at least one stone based on the month they were born; a form of identification
with the least controversy surrounding it.

First I would begin with a geological perspective. I would teach the students about the rock
cycle. The resource I acquired for this section is a non-fiction textbook. Earth Studies 12e by Tarbuck,
Lutgens, and Tasa (2009) gives you scientific information based off of scientific inquiry (hypothesis,
theory, and methods) on how and why crystals are formed in the earth. The third chapter of this
textbook, Rocks: Materials of the Solid Earth, is an excellent resource to use for it explains the different
aspects of the rock cycle, including different phenomenoms that can occur during the formation of a
crystal. There are also definitions of the key terms used throughout the chapter. Any of the figures or
tables in this textbook could be used as an activity for the students.
The best part about this textbook is that it comes with an interactive DVD called GEODe that
tests you on different parts of the chapter. I would use this at the end of a section as a type of game
with my students. You could split the class in two, and have the group members discuss what the
answer could be before giving me the answer to enter. You could also use this as a form of evaluation to
see if the students are getting it. Hand out a printed PowerPoint of the DVD questions, and have the
students write down in ink what they believe the answer is before you enter it, and have them hand it in
at the end, it is up to you if you want the evaluation be worth anything. Another interactive resource
this textbook provides you is a website that has quiz reviews, critital thinking excerices, internet wide
key term searches, and links to specific web sources for each chapter.

Another non-fiction resource I used was Judy Halls triology of The Crystal Bible. These bibles
provide information on the colour, appearance, rarity, source, additional properietes/attributes, healing,
position (i.e. where to wear on the body), specific colours and forms. The next page is an example of
how Hall layouts the information provided to her readers
B1= The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003)
B2= The Crystal Bible 2 (2009)
B3= The Crystal Bible 3 (2012)
Garnet: B1 page 135, B3 page 139+274
Amethyst: B1 page 53, B2 page 224
Aquamarine: B1 page 67/68
Diamond: B1 page 122
Emerald: B1 page 126
Moonstone: B1 page 190
Alexandrite: B1 page 83
Ruby: B1 page 250, B3 page 151+204+238
Peridot: B1 page 212
Sapphire: B1 page 252
Toumaline: B1 page 296
Topaz: B1 page 292
Tanzanite: B1 page 323, B2 page335
Zircon: B2 page 354
Turquoise: B1 page 305

To follow along with the geological perspective, I used the website to
figure out where the largest depoists of crystals are around the world. I would then give the students a
map of the world with each countries name on it, North Americas map would also include the names of
the different states and provinces, and have the students create a legend for each crystal and have them
be able to represent where each of the deposits are located. You could also create a Jeoporady version
where the whole class participates orally, or have student individually or in partners fill in the blank on
the Jeopardy page.
Garnet : Adirondack Mountains especially the Gore Mountain in New York

Amethyst: Brazil, and Thunder Bay Ontario. All over world

Aquamarine: Brazil, Ural Mountains Russia, Angola, Kenya, Central Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria,
Mozambique, Pakistan, Tanzania, Colorado USA, Zambia

Diamond: Africa, all over world

Emerald: Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Austraila, Austria, Bulgaria, China, India, Madagascar, Nambia,
Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Tanzanie, USA, Zimbabwe

Alexandrite: Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, India, Burma, Madagscar, Zimbabwe

Ruby: 1800 miles of Himalayas. Streching from Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Kashmir-Nepal-China-

Peridot: 45 miles out of Red Sea off Eqyptian coast at Aswan Kashmir region

Sapphire: India, Burma, Ceylon, Thialand, Veitnam, Australia, Brazil, Africa

Tourmaline: Brazil, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzia, Mozambique,
Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Califorina and Maine USA

Topaz: Brazil, Ural Mountains Russia, China, Pakistan, Germany, Namiba, Poland, Zimbabwe, Nigeria,
Mexico, USA (Nevada, Texas, and New Hampshire)

Tanzanite: Tanzania

Zircon: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thialand, Myanmar, Austria

Turquoise: Mexico, various USA locations, Israel, Iran, Afganistan, China

photo by Peter Klages, found on planetariums webpage
You can even take an astrological spin on said crystals. The next page is a highlighted list of the
crystals that connect to the Zodiac, found in Judy Halls first of three guide books Crystal Bible: A
Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003). An assignment you could do with your students is have them draw
out the constellation of their zodiac identity. If because of geographical position one can not view the
constellation of their zodiac, they could draw one of the major constellations found in their sky. You
could also take your students to a planetarium if that is something available within the proximity of your
school. One in Halifax can be found at Saint Marys University. The website states that its size is ideal
for small groups (up to 30) and allows for a close interaction between the operator and the audience. It
also asks teachers to contact them, which I am hoping means they will direct their show to base it on
what you are trying to teach; in this case the presentors would show the students the constellations of
Zodiacs, so that they could try to draw it.
This is the link to the planetarium:
I would next introduce a more humanitiarian perspective of crystals. The blog posted August
2009 on the website explains the first seven Chakras. An activity you can
do with your students after introducing the Chakras is have them fill in the blanks of location,
emtotional issues, colour, healing, and ask them to include a crystal that could be related to
healing/aligning the Chakras. Another activity you can do visually and physically enhances the students
involvement in the class is to have, depending on the number of crystals you have at your disposal, a
student or one from a small group lay on the floor and have students place the proper crystal in the
Chakra layout.
Place a brown stone between and slightly beneath your feet, a red stone on root chakra, an
orange stone below navel, a yellow stone on solar plexus, pink stone on heart, blue stone on throat,
indigo on third eye, purple stone at crown (Judy Hall, 373).
1) Root Chakra
a. Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded
i. Location: base of spine in tailbone area
ii. Emotional issues: survival issues such as financial independence, money,
and food
iii. Colour: red
iv. Healing: Kundalini (bridge pose) yoga, red foods, hot spices
2) Sacral Chakra
a. Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences
i. Loaction: lower abdomen, 2 inches below navel, 2 inches in
ii. Emotional issues: sense of abundance, well being, pleasure, sexuality
iii. Colour: orange
iv. Healing: cobra pose, orange food, nuts
3) Solar Plexus Chakra
a. Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives
i. Location: upper abdomen in the stomach area
ii. Emotional issues: self-worth, self confiendence, self esteem
iii. Colour: yellow
iv. Healing: Kundalini (boat pose) yoga, dancing (hips), yellow foods such as
grains and fiber
4) Heart Chakra
a. Our ability to love
i. Location: center of chest just above heart
ii. Emotional issues: love, joy, inner peace
iii. Colour: green
iv. Healing: Bikram yoga, green food and tea
5) Throat Chakra
a. Our ability to communicate
i. Location: thoart
ii. Emotional Issues: communication, self expression of feelings, the truth
iii. Colour: blue
iv. Healing: shoulder stand, singing, chanting, juices and teas, blue fruits
6) Third Eye/Brow Chakra
a. Our ability ot focus on and see the big picture
i. Location: forehead between the eyes
ii. Emotional Issues: intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make
iii. Colour: indigo
iv. Healing: childs pose, forward fold, eye exercises, herbal oil treatment,
purple fruit, chocolate, lavender
7) Crown Chakra
a. Our ability to be fully connected spiritually
i. Location: very top of head
ii. Emotional Issues: inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality,
pure bliss
iii. Colour: violet
iv. Healing: meditation, running or cardio, breathing fresh clean air, sunshine

The next page is also from Judy Halls first guide. It lists off the first ten charkas and the highlighted
crystals are the birthstones associated with the healing and bonding of the Chakras.

Theories of Abundance/Art/Jewelry
Throughout history, Kings and Queens from all over the world wanted crowns and pieces of
jewelry that were full of beautiful crystals from their respective country. There was an abundance of
crystals upon first finding them, and therefore royalty was able to purchase said crystals to show their
status. The photograph below of a couple of Denmarks Crown Jewels captured by artist Dennis Jarvis,
whom travels the world to capture images he believes represents a country, is one example of
An assignment you can do with your students is to have them make a choice of which of the
fourteen crystals associated with birthstones they would like to focus on. That is your basis for dividing
them into small groups. Said group is responsible for making a PowerPoint presentation on how said
crystal has been used throughout history, and even today to show an individuals socio-economic status,
they should use narratives as at least one of their references. Individually get students to write what
they think their crystal could represent in the future, any future (1 day from now or 16,738 days).

You can use this in your teaching as a type of background noise for when students are working on
assignments or their projects. You could even bring in a crystal singing bowl so that the students can try
their hand at making music, and have them reflect on how making those sounds made them feel. Below
each address is YouTubes description of the video.
Crystal singing bowl music resonance with 13 Hz binaural alpha waves which balance the brain
hemispheres and bring clarity and visual meditation to the listeners.
-Active Meditation
-Brain healing
-Accessing the subconscious

Sound healing ceremony with crystal bowls, gongs, and drums
Energy medicine therapist Jason Wood conducts a meditative sound healing ceremony at the Unitarian
Society of Ridgewood NJ. During this spontaneous presentation, Jason uses the alchemy of sound to
assist the listener in achieving a state of heightened awareness and a space for transformative
emotional healing. Composition has been developed specifically to invite a multidimensional experience,
leading the listener to an altered state
For a business perspective on crystals I turn to the mining and the importation and exportation
of crystals. Here is one example of a video you could have your students watch and respond/reflect to.
After viewing this video, students are to individually respond to the following questions:
1) What role do women have in this this mining experience?

2) What are some of the dangers miners in this mine face on a daily basis?
a. While working
b. Their relationships with others

3) Did the mining in this video reflect the type of mining you envision? Explain how it was
either similar or different.

4) Amethyst in this mine is surround by what type of soil?

5) Do you think that the mining of Amethyst in Canada is similar or different? Explain your

This final project is one that links all three perspectives of the geography of crystals. The
students in groups no larger than six will do research on the mining of crystals. They can choose from
1) Topaz
2) Ruby
3) Diamond
4) Aquamarine
5) Amethyst
The students are to focus on the possible positive and negative impacts mining said crystal has
on society and the environment, one of the resources must be one of the two articles below. Give
students a copy of both abstracts found below and get the groups to choose from there. In this project
students must also include the geological facts (colour, appearance, rarity, source, and healing) of their
crystal, and the crystals major source of need in importing and exporting said crystal (mining companies,
jewelry shops, rock shops, specialty light shops, yoga studios, etc.). To be handed in and presented to
the class. Preferably done on poster board, or Bristol board so that it can be hung up in the hallway so
that all students can view their findings.
Sustainable development in the mining industry: clarifying the corporate perspective (2000)
Gavin Hilson a, Barbara Murock b

This paper examines sustainable development in the corporate mining context, and provides
some guidelines for mining companies seeking to operate more sustainably. There is now a burgeoning
literature that examines sustainable development in the context of minerals and mining, most of which
is concerned with sustainability at global and national scales. What is often challenging to ascertain,
however, from these numerous perspectives on sustainable mineral extraction, minerals and metals
recycling, environmental management, and social performance, is how sustainable development applies
to mining companies themselves, and what steps a mine must take in order to improve the
sustainability of operations. Since mining processes have the potential to impact a diverse group of
environmental entities, and are of interest to a wide range of stakeholder groups, there is ample
opportunity for the industry to operate more sustainably. Specifically, with improved planning,
implementation of sound environmental management tools and cleaner technologies, extended social
responsibility to stakeholder groups, the formation of sustainability partnerships, and improved training,
a mine can improve performance in both the environmental and socioeconomic arenas, and thus
contribute enormously to sustainable development at the mine level.

Sustainable development: can the mining industry afford it? (2001)
D. Humphreys

Adopting the values of sustainable development implies an increase in the mining industrys
environmental and social costs. For an industry already offering poor returns on capital this is potentially
a problem. An examination of the historical record, however, reveals that past increases in
environmental and social costs have been more than offset by developments in industry productivity.
The emergence of information and communication technologies seems likely to extend this trend into
the future. The particular challenges being faced by mining in the US appear to be less to do with rising
environmental costs than with competition from countries which have recently opened up to foreign
mining investment and to a strong dollar. It seems likely that industrys adoption of more sustainable
practices will require, and could even promote, improved returns to capital in mining.