Sunday, December 9, 2012

Studying Egypt

We began our study of Egypt this last week and focused on understanding how important the Nile River was to the ancient Egyptians. Without the Nile this ancient people would not have been able exist. The Egyptians often called the Nile “the giver of life.” This important river provided silt, fertilizer, water, food and even transportation for Egyptian daily life. So this next week students will be completing their own map about Egypt. We will also continue to examine Egypt’s geography and begin to study some of the important pharaohs, as well as monuments of this innovative ancient civilization.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Learning About Four Important Empires of Mesopotamia

We are almost finished with our study of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. Just one month ago students did not know where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are, who Hammurabi or Nebuchadnezzar were, nor did they know of such empires as Babylon or Assyria. Now they fluently read these strange words, and almost none stumble over the pronunciations. However, soon we will be leaving our study of the ancient desert lands of Iraq, and will instead be focusing on the mysterious ancient world of Egypt. Students are  already asking when we will be learning about this ancient people.
As we study Egypt we will learn about the geography of the area, examine mummification methods, “visit” important monuments, as well as look at the pharaohs who built those monuments. Students in the second half of class will also be doing some research of their own, and will write an argumentative paper showing what they think about a particular monument, pharaoh, or achievement of the Egyptians. For many students studying Egypt is a highlight of the year.
I am including some pictures of students from the three different blocks involved in various activities from this week's study of Mesopotamia: reading Kids Discover magazine, examining pictures of artifacts, and completing a quiz.