There was no such thing as a wheel?" "No written language?" "What do you mean there was no "time?" These are all questions and wonderment that filled the Grade 5 classrooms when our young historians began researching the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia is the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. The students traveled back in time to a place where fire predated microwaves, and peoples sought refuge in homes of sundried brick and mud rather than cities of glass and steel. Curious, students researched items and inventions while diving back in time and recreating cuneiforms and ziggurats.
This project-based learning frames the students' work with the ancient civilizations of study in their social studies curriculum. Our young learners explore, research, and learn about the lives of people who lived long ago, how they lived, where they lived, how location played a part in their success, and how their structures of government functioned.
This fall, Grade 5 students chose a topic of interest, conducted research, and then created three-dimensional representations to reflect and share their understanding of buildings, inventions, and natural elements from the early civilization of Ancient Mesopotamia. In bringing these "ancient" projects to life, in ways that were realistic and impressive, students leveraged their research and creatively transformed simple craft items as well as materials they found in nature on the King campus.
Grade 5 Faculty Lisa DeGirolami explains that the "student researchers are strengthening their skills in reading nonfiction texts and in using titles and topics to sift through informational texts as part of determining what information is essential. Students are also appreciating the importance of becoming experts in their chosen subject."
Helen Santoro, Grade 5 Faculty, adds that "the skill sets and information learned will also help the students formulate connections to other civilizations, such as ancient Egypt and ancient China, which are the two principal civilizations students will study this year. Most importantly, the children are gaining a global awareness that there is more out there than what they know, literally a whole other world!"
Learn more about King School's project-based teaching and learning in our Reggio inspired early childhood program and Grades 1-5 program. Learn about the King Global Education program and how King students learn to think as historians across time and space.