We have invited Aztecs, Incans, Romans, hunters and gatherers into our classroom! We are inquiring about their society, achievements, government, and more.
In Miss Alissa’s inquiry group, are learning about the Aztecs. Today, they spent the first part of inquiry going over the map of the Aztec Empire. They labeled several places on the map, including the capital city, Tenochtitlan. Then, they created a KWL chart to write what they knew about the Aztecs and what they want to know about the Aztecs. They spent the rest of their time exploring all of our books.
In Ms. Vonder Haar’s inquiry group, they began learning about hunter-gatherer tribes. Ms. Jenn came in to work with the group, and read the book The First Drawing by Mordecai Gerstein to kick off their discussion. Together, they explored the problems with different homes a tribe might choose: they acted out the problems with living in water (we can’t breathe in water) and in trees (we wouldn’t be protected from the elements), before realizing that a cave would protect us from weather, would keep us warm, and would allow firelight to stay bright. Then, they created tableaux–frozen, silent pictures–of stories people might need to communicate to each other without words: directions to good food, and warnings about dangerous plants and animals. We finished class by taking those stories and drawing them on our “cave wall” sheets.
Great empires are being dissected in Ms. James’ inquiry group. They began our discussion today with the quote, “Today’s empires are tomorrow’s ashes,” and interpreting what that means to our study of the Incan Empire and the Roman Empire. Each group is focusing on the government, religion, achievements, politics, economy, society, the rise and the fall of their empire.