Project Goal: This birthstone drawing project helps students celebrate one another’s birthdays, teaches geometric shapes, radial design and symmetry, and ties into an inspiring poem.
Recommended Ages: This project was primarily designed for middle-school through high-school age youth to make art that would lead to discussion.
Step 1: Identify each student’s birth month and stone.
Step 3: Teach students to use a ruler, compass, triangle, protractor and graph paper to draw some of the most popular gem cuts including cuts like princess, cushion, emerald, step, trillion, table, heart, rectangular, round, brilliant, radiant, rose and so on.
Step 4: Read Poem (below).
Reflection: In a world where more and more seems to be expected of us, I often share my desire to ask questions that help co-workers and students tap into their “super powers”, which for me is the stories we tell about ourselves and how adversity has shaped us to be more beautiful. This poem from “Call Me By My True Names” The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorites and does just that – it taps us into our limitless beauty with a moment of mindfulness.
In addition to using this poem while teaching the drawing of our students’ birth stones, we have used this poem to open walking meditation which includes nature walks for students, leaf collecting for printmaking in playgrounds, and drawing trees and birds in neighborhood parks where we often also bring different stones and discuss and teach geology.