Mrs Christine Peterson | Head of Library Services
This year in the WALEC, our themes are based on the Book Week theme of ‘Old World, New World, Other World’. This term, we have focussed on the ‘Old World’ and have been studying ancient cultures with students in Years 2-6, with them creating their own artefacts for our museum.
Our Year 2 students didn’t go back far in time compared to other classes, but went back in time for dinner! Together, we watched and discussed the ABC series, ‘Further Back in Time for Dinner’; the students loved this series and were extremely engaged in learning how things involving food and clothes had changed since 1900, where the dish of the day, was mock turtle soup and the ingredient involved boiling a cow’s head – not something they wanted for dinner.
They had many discussions about how the food and clothing had changed and they were happy to be eating what they are and not having to dress in frills and suits to go and play. They weren’t too fussed on outside toilets and no ‘real’ toilet paper. They also couldn’t bare the thought of not having electricity or refrigerators.
Year 3 has been learning about the Egyptians; they enjoyed learning about how mummies were created and why they built pyramids. They then created their own pharaoh headdress, Eye of Horus or Pyramid.
Students in Year 4 have been investigating the Ancient Roman civilisation. They then went on to create their own versions of a variety of Roman buildings and artefacts including; mosaics, the Pantheon Roof, the Pont de Gard, the Colosseum and Mt Vesuvius. The students enjoyed learning about how the Romans built using concrete and that buildings that are 2000 years old are still standing today.
In Year 5, we were introduced to the Greek gods and mythology and went on to investigate their culture which included the original Olympic games. The students were fascinated by the facts they found out about the games; only males could compete and they often didn’t wear clothes! Did you know the ‘marathon’ is the length it is because it is the distance between Olympus and Marathon? To finish, they then created a variety of posters or PowerPoints on something that was of particular interest to them. For some of the boys this was the marble head of a horse that was found at the Temple of Athena.
The key questions for our Year 6 students this term were, “Were the Vikings really that aggressive? Did they wear helmets with horns? What is the thing with dragons? How did they build their boats?”
To start the term, we watched an excellent documentary from the British Museum, on their Viking collection which discussed a huge boat found in a Dutch harbour. The students were fascinated by what they learnt about the Vikings and their way of life. A point of note, was that Viking was not a culture, but more a term to describe a career which has changed over time. Their creations for the display are something to behold and includes a sword, shields, boats and a beautifully created axe made by Brandon.
Next term, we take a break from our theme and focus on the CWA country of the year, Malaysia. Students will create reports on this country which will be entered to the CWA’s competition for judging.