The mineral backbone of the earth falls into a great polarity between igneous volcanic sources and sedimentary limestone sources. In this study the students will learn how the geological terrain of the earth is formed through the study of volcanoes, the limestone cycle, metamorphic rock, and the formation of metals, coal, petroleum and chalk. Field trips to geological outcroppings and formations are encouraged. Charts, drawings, and descriptive narratives are among the many student activities.

Lesson Activity: The Circle of Fire

Using a world atlas to look at, have the student draw the continents that surround the Pacific Ocean into his main lesson book. This will require two blank pages side by side. The continents can be simple shapes. The continents can be shaded with a green color pencil, the sea with blue pencil. Now locate the volcanic mountains that form the “great circle of fire.” The circle of fire may describe a great “wound” in the earth where the moon once separated itself from the earth.

Now locate these mountains and draw them with red and orange. The student should also label the ocean, seas, islands, and some of the countries. The following list names some of the prominent volcanoes in the ring of fire. There are hundreds more however.

Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen in California Mt. Hood in Oregon,
Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington;
Wrangell Mountains in Alaska and the Katmai and Novarupa volcanoes
El Chicon, Jorullo, and Pricutin in Mexico
Nevado del Ruiz in Columbia
Cotopaxi in Ecuador; Huascaran in Peru
Aconcagua in Argentina
Mount Pinatubo, Hibok Hibok and Mayon in the Philippines
Mt. Tambora and Krakatau in Indonesia; Semeru in Java
Mt. Fuji and Mt. Asama in Japan
Mt. Erebus in Antartica
Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano in Kamchatka
Mount Egmont in New Zealand aka Mount Taranaki

  • Introduction
  • Rudolf Steiner’s Indications
  • Mineralogy not Geology
  • Your Own Continent
  • Mineralogy and the Twelve-Year-Old
  • Materials Needed for Teaching Mineralogy
  • Further Reading for the Steiner/Goethean Approach
  • Lesson 1 Igneous Rock–Granite
  • Lesson 2 On the Granite
  • Lessons 3 and 4 The Gifts of Quartz
  • Semiconductors
  • Glass
  • Lessons 5,6, and 7: Volcanoes
  • Pan Gaia
  • The Circle of Fire
  • Lesson 8 How Mountains are Formed
  • Lessons 9 and 10 Limestone, Chalk, and Concrete
  • On a Piece of Chalk
  • Concrete
  • Lesson 11 The Limestone Cycle of the Earth
  • Caves
  • Lesson 12 Sedimentary Rock
  • Lessons 13 and 14 Gifts of Sediment
  • Oil and Petroleum
  • Coal
  • Additional Lesson Activities
  • Rock Forms the Poem
  • Metals and Gems
  • Spelling List