huge white diamond found in South Africa – teaching ideas


A white diamond has been dug up at the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa.  The diamond weighs 507.55 (101.5 grams) carats.  That’s a huge diamond!  It’s actually one of the world’s largest.  Clarity, grading, and other details will be released after further examination by experts, but they’ve already stated that it appears to be an exceptional diamond.

If you want to read one of the articles about this, I’d recommend:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/world/rest-of-world/Spectacular-50755-carat-white-diamond-mined-in-South-Africa/articleshow/5071500.cms

While Chris and the children were sitting here talking about it, a discussion came up about the word “carat.”  This is a great word to use to discuss synonyms so we used the opportunity to look up the meaning of “carat” and “karat” (we already knew “carrot”! LOL).  Anyway, I thought some of the rest of you might like to go over the differences with your children… 🙂

– carrot … Of course this is the yummy, crunchy, orange vegetable we enjoy fresh, steamed, boiled, baked, etc.

– carat … A carat is a unit of measurement for diamonds and other gemstones.  One carat equals 200 milligrams.  Although I initially thought a “carat” was based on size, a carat is actually unit of weight, which is a little bit different than just “size,” which could also imply measurement.

–  karat … A karat is not a unit of weight, but it’s a unit of purity.  When referring to gold, 24-karat gold refers to pure gold.  Since pure gold tends to be too soft for normal use, you’ll frequently find lower karats of gold: 14-karat gold, for example.  Since each karat is really 1/24th of the whole, a 14-karat gold necklace really means that it’s 14 parts gold and 8 parts something else (14 + 8 equals 24 karats).  Usually that “something else” is copper or silver or another metal used to make the jewelry or other material since 24 karat gold is too soft. 

Since children are typically very interested in superlative topics (“largest,” “rarest,” “most expensive,” etc.), they might be interested in the news about this latest discovery.  This is a good example of how to incorporate math (fractions, etc.), language arts (synonyms, spelling, definitions, etc.) science (how do diamonds form, how do you mine for diamonds), geography (where is South Africa, where is the mine), and other academic subjects into an every day discussion so that education is just a part of your lifestyle.  : )

Have fun!

Sonya

 

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