Affiliate Disclaimer

We sometimes use affiliate links in our content. This won’t cost you anything, but it helps us to keep the site running. Thanks for your support.

This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book The Gift Stone by Robyn Eversole.

Jean lives in Coober Pedy, an underground mining town in the Australian Outback where her father mines for opals, but Jean yearns for a real home and an opportunity to go to a real school, and when she finds an opal in her house, she is able to afford to go to school at her grandparents’ house in Adelaide.

Thanks to Celia Hartmann for preparing this The Gift Stone unit study.

The Gift Stone Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this The Gift Stone unit study:

Geography – Coober Pedy and Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Australia is not only a country, but it is also a continent and an island (review meanings of continent and island). It is known as “the land down under.” Help your student locate Australia and ask him why it’s known as the land down under.
South Australia is a state of Australia (like _________ [insert your state] is a state in America). The two cities mentioned in the story (Coober Pedy and Adelaide) are real cities in South Australia.

Coober Pedy: Almost one hundred years ago, a teenager found some surface opals and mining began. Coober Pedy is in the heart of the Australian Outback. It is a small town…about 3,500 people. Temperatures during the day might reach over 110 degrees, but at night the temperature might be below freezing. Because of the temperature extremes, many of the houses (and even churches!) are underground, where temperatures stay around a comfortable 77 degrees. Adelaide: Adelaide is the capitol of South Australia and is a very large city with over 1 million people. It is bordered on the east and south sides by the Murray River, Australia’s largest river.

Science: Opals
An opal is a precious gemstone, and one of the most beautiful at that. The rainbow spectrum of colors it displays is called the “play of color.” Almost all opals are found in Australia (95% of the world’s opals). Australian opals are found in an area called The Great Artesian Basin, which lies under about 1/4 of Australia.

There are two types of opals: precious and common. The precious opals display the play-of-color, common ones don’t. An opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone, and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids, caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time, and eventually opal is formed.

You can grab a copy of the entire The Gift Stone unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the The Gift Stone Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the The Gift Stone unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Gift Stone, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Gift Stone unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your The Gift Stone Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab the free The Gift Stone unit study.

The Gift Stone Unit Study

More Resources for Learning About Rocks and Minerals

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble Unit Study
Rocks in His Head Unit Study & Lapbook
Stone Soup Unit Study