Our 6th graders got to experience a beautiful example of classical learning: a hands-on activity that synthesizes knowledge to make the subject matter come alive in form of: cuneiform!
Mrs. Foat recently took her history class on a cuneiform writing adventure. Students were given a ball of dough that they had to shape into a tablet and then, using an alphabetical translation, write a word or message!
They quickly learned there are a lot of considerations an ancient Mesopotamian writer would have had to account for including:
- size, shape, and thickness of the tablet
- getting the perfect angle with your stylus to create the wedge-shaped impressions that form the signs (one student made a discovery and shared the tip with his classmates!)
- and good spatial planning to ensure you have enough room to actually finish your message!
Some students enjoyed translating their name or their favorite sport (soccer), and one student suggested “I love mom!” – we imagine that played well at home! While they worked, Mrs. Foat and the students had a discussion about how this form of writing came to be, what types of examples still exist, and how the language was translated so that we know what it means today.
It was a fun lesson that included so many building blocks of learning that will set up our newest class of Guardians for great success as they continue!