Outdoor Hour Challenge – Quartz

2554230385_267cdef370_mYet another challenge – where the object we are studying – we are very familiar with, but learned  . . .  that we weren’t.

After reading the challenge I set to go find a few quartz rocks from the bucket in our learning library.  But first, I peeked at the websites suggested:

P1050137Thinking of Quartz, I had more of an image of Quartz Crystals, or something maybe like Granite. I had one specimen on the nature collection shelves.  BUT – I read up on the websites – and saw that the elements of quarts could form different colors and shapes, agates, jasper, opal, etc. What? Back up the thinkin’ truck! So – I asked the boys the same thing the challenge asked me, and on a rainy day asked them to . . .

Go to the Nature Collection Shelves and find your 3 favorite quartz rocks . . . . . Both boys went to the shelves, and came back with one rock, and said they weren’t sure.  So I showed them the websites as well, read a bit from the Handbook of Nature Study book, and as soon as the word Jasper and Agate, Minerals, Silicon, etc were mentioned – they were off and running. 

In the Pacific Northwest – our most abundant form of quartz would be – Sand!  After that, it would be the rocks under the layer of sand – Agates! We emptied out the jars from the Agates from just this year, and played with the colors.


(That’s a Turkey Roasting Pan Folks)


Banding and Color.  We each collect different types, sizes, shapes. Hubby like jelly bean shapes, I like different colors like Red, Green, Pink, Purple and Blue. Jon likes Black and White. Nate? Eagle Eye Nate finds all sorts of goodies. The more different, the more he likes it.



I can’t find the website / book reference, but I did read that even fossils and petrified wood is a form of quartz.


This is Nate’s color rainbow, and below is his favorite find, only a small portion was sticking out of the sand, and it was yellow on the outside, not blue.



Jon’s color rainbow. He has to add a “lil jon” and the sun.


Mom’s rainbow colors. We talked about the glass being a form of Quartz as well.  We also had some bunny trails on the properties, as we are studying the elements in Chemistry with Nate.


This was a good time to clean off the discovery shelf, and to take some time to enjoy all of those items that get found as I wash jeans . . . .

As always – I encourage you to jump into one of these challenges. You might not have a family full of rock collectors – But with a nick name like Pebblekeeper, and a school name like Petra School – what would you expect less?

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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14 Responses to Outdoor Hour Challenge – Quartz

  1. Jan says:

    What a gorgeous collection! Really enjoyed this post – have been trying to find ideas for my kid interested in rocks and gemstones. Off to browse more of your posts… “pebblekeeper” sounds very promising! 🙂

  2. I love your nature study collections. I have always been reluctant to keep our nature “finds”. No more. I am going to find a beautiful way to display our collections, too, just like you. I’ll start with this wonderful gall I found just today by my back door. 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    What an inspiration! Love the rainbows, the variety, and the inclusion of beach glass! Getting ready to do the Crystal Study w/our grandsons’ home school group on Friday, and need to dig out the beach glass (maybe literally – we’re in Michigan & had a snow/ice storm today)!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. zonnah says:

    all I kept saying when reading your post was, “wow.” That is a stunning collection of rocks.

    • pebblekeeper says:

      What’s funny – is that these are all from this current year of beach coming. Last year’s are in the flower garden on a path, and previous years are in the learning library in a HUGE tote. We have many different types from the volcanic activity of Central Oregon. I don’t know what compels us to bend over and pick another one up????

  5. Eva Varga says:

    Love this post, Angie! Partly what made it fun for me is knowing I helped contribute a wee bit to your collection … and as I was reading, I vowed to return to that beach and scoop up a bucket for ourselves! 🙂

    • pebblekeeper says:

      Not sure you’ll ever know how much you have sparked us to go further in our science studies. We are back in chemistry and Nathan remembers quite a bit from the few classes he was able to take!

      Sent from my iPod

  6. Pingback: Magnet Studies | Petra School

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, when I got the schedule and saw quartz, please know that I instantly fell into a time vortex and arrived at the very moment the tray of 60 rocks were set on the table to identify for my Geology 101 lab exam.

    I actually remember the sinking feeling of having about a dozen left that I simply – could – not – identify – for – sure – too many for a lab exam!

    Needless to say, I just couldn’t find time to work on this one. Sheesh – what a coward I am! Love your roasting pan, and my daughter ooohhed and aahhed over the rock collection!

  8. Tricia says:

    I say that your choice of turkey roasting pan is fabulous! And I love your collection – the rainbows – and all you pull out of jeans when you do the wash 🙂 Great study!

  9. Phyllis says:

    You have a gorgeous collection. I love your approach to nature study.

  10. Blossom says:

    When I got the email for the quartz challenge, I swore (well, not literally) that we were going to do it! And…well, we didn’t. (I had to work and then I forgot- excuses, excuses, yes) Love this post!! We might be rock hunting later today (just as soon as the white frost disappears…brrrr).

  11. Wonderful fabulous post…love the rainbows of quartz. When I was doing the research for this challenge I got stuck on it for about a week following probably just as many rabbit trails as you did. It is a life project sort of challenge as you demonstrated with your collections.
    Here is a link for you if you haven’t seen it already:


    Thank you for sharing your post with me and carnival readers too.:)

    • pebblekeeper says:

      That is FANTASTIC! Jon ran around the house with the iPod showing everyone. Now I want a new microscope. I had 79 photos narrowed down to 29 down to the post. I have a couple of follow up post ideas.

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