My students are curious about our world and their place within our global community. They love to explore new topics, debate ideas from different points of view, and they especially love working together to achieve a common goal and an understanding of one another’s beliefs. They also have drive and determination to succeed; many have overcome challenges in their personal and academic lives and I continue to be in awe of their resilience and positivity. They are creative, funny and a joy to be around each and every day!
As a 6th grade social studies enrichment activity, we travel back in time to simulate how early societies operated and functioned using a program called Hands On History by Shell Education.
As part of this engaging curriculum, we use art supplies and task sheets with detailed sketches (and a whole lot of imagination) to build artifacts, temples, irrigation systems and other items that people would have used in order to meet human needs in early societies.
This year as part of our Early and Modern Man unit, we simulated how difficult it was to gather river water by hand by carrying water to a cup using only a plastic spoon; we later invented and sculpted a bowl to make this task more efficient. Activities for Ancient Mesopotamia, for example, included plans to develop an irrigation system to eliminate the need to carry water from the "river" to our "village" entirely. We are currently working on curating an Ancient China museum for which students are researching, creating and verifying artifacts from three major dynasties - Shang, Qin and Han.
In doing these hands-on-activities, students learn about the importance of technological innovations in cultivating farmland to help societies flourish and grow. They also learn about the importance of preserving ancient cultures and gain an appreciation for ancient people, among many other valuable lessons that help bring history alive for kids in our classroom today.
As I prepare for next year's incoming 6th grade class, I am gathering materials now to ensure I have enough clay, construction paper, poster-board and compasses to go around. I appreciate all the support our classroom has received from Donors Choose - it would be a real challenge to make these hands-on activities happen without such caring individuals as yourselves!
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Mitkowski.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Mitkowski and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.