A page from the "Causes of Color" exhibit...

Lesson 2 (Gemstones)


A nodemap will be the primary output of students, analogous to a poster presentation. See tips on assessing nodemap lessons.

Nodemap Rubric

Nodemaps can be graded according to the rubric for nodemap lessons and the grade can be a numerical fraction or a word grade. You can use that rubric as-is or adapt to the needs of your class. Your students may find it helpful to see the rubric.

Content-oriented questions

Since the students worked in pairs to explore Causes of Color and build their nodemaps, you can allow the students to work with their partners to answer the sample content oriented questions below.

Sample true/false questions

Write the word TRUE or FALSE for the following sentences. If the statement is FALSE, change the underlined word to make the statement TRUE.

  1. ... Gold is an element.
  2. ... Beryl is the hardest know mineral.
  3. ... Diamonds can be colorless, yellow, or blue.
  4. ... Sapphires are blue because of charge transfer.
  5. ... Rubies are red as explained by crystal field theory.
  6. ... Emeralds are usually black.
  7. ... Quartz is silicon dioxide.
  8. ... The color of topaz is caused by radiation.
  9. ... “Light lost” refers to wavelengths of light that are absorbed by a substance.
  10. ... Gold is yellow and silver is white because of different percentages of reflectance.

Sample 1-sentence questions

Answer the following questions by writing a sentence.

  1. Why are sapphires blue?
  2. Why are rubies red?
  3. Why are emeralds green?
  4. What are three causes of color?
  5. Explain the colors of quartz, such as amethyst.

Sample 1-paragaph question

Write a paragraph (5 to 7 sentences) to answer the following question.

Choose ONE of the following:

  1. Crystal field theory
  2. Charge transfer
  3. Color centers

Explain what that means and give three examples of how that happens.