Second graders learned about Native American turquoise jewelry by looking at lots of examples of real turquoise jewelry that was lent to us by a 3rd grade teacher at our school who used to live in New Mexico. We also looked posters and photographs of Indian Chiefs wearing turquoise jewelry.
To make our turquoise beads 2nd graders cut up a raw potato and put the chunks on a skewer stick to dry out. It takes about a week for them to dry. Next we painted the dried pieces with turquoise paint. On the painting day we also made a pendant from tooling foil which they drew on a Native American symbol (we had a poster that had a bunch of different symbols and their meanings for them to choose from).