Friday, April 20, 2012

The Big Dig Part 2: Artifact Day!

Building on our experience at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the children met Thursday for artifact day.  During our visit to the museum, each child picked their favorite artifact from any time period of Greece’s history, from the Neolithic to Roman eras.  They had the opportunity to recreate that artifact using a variety of art materials.  Lilah made a terracotta doe from the Boeotian region of Greece.  Grace used air dry clay to make a version of a sphinx.  
Our day began with examining a Montessori timeline.  For each picture on the timeline there is a corresponding fact card.  If you are interested in an item and wish to learn more, the fact card will provide information regarding what the item or event is and when it took place.

The children set out to create their own 18 foot timeline of ancient Greece.  For every artifact the children choose, they printed two copies.  One was glued onto the timeline in the appropriate era.  The children researched the artifact, typed and printed the information to fit on the back of their picture and glued the pages together to make a fact card. 

       While some children were creating artifacts, others were working on the timeline. Me and another Mom manned the printer/scanner and assisted the children with their research.  

At the end of the day 40 cards were made and 40 artifacts/people were placed on the timeline.  

 Ilove seeing my children learn this way.  Having a project as a central focus gives them a shared experience with their friends.  Ancient Greece is interesting to my girls since they explored it last year.  This project builds on their prior knowledge and expands their understanding.  Watching my girls research, use technology, create a timeline, manipulate clay into an artifact all the while laughing and working together with their friends brings me joy.  I end my day with the satisfaction that their education was enhanced by a dynamic experience led by a fantastic teacher (and friend) while surrounded by some of their closest friends.   
It was a very good day.

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