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What did they know, and when did they know it?

By Wendy Leitner-Sieber

In our study of ancient civilizations this year, we are using as one of our Big Questions, “What did they know, and when did they know it?” The idea here is to explore the concept that some of the things we use today, and the knowledge we have, came from the discoveries of many early cultures. We will be looking at ideas that developed in more than one time and place (say, the development of the calendar), and build our own timeline across the wall of our classroom. Stay tuned for future blog posts from the kids as they chronicle what they learn.

Today we kicked off a look at inventions playing several round of a great game called Timeline. We found ourselves surprised to find out when some things were discovered or invented! I love to see how well this group can play collaborative games together also. In this week’s homework we’ll begin building a personal timeline of ideas or skills each one of us has acquired and when, in our 10-year life span, we first knew or learned to do each one.

Getting to know each other as learners, while also thinking about when the ancient Egyptians knew what they knew, is a great chance to make connections and imagine ourselves as discoverers and inventors as well. By the end of the month we hope to put together a marketplace of ideas and inventions that we can invite other classes to visit. Sara and I had some ideas for the marketplace ourselves, but even at first mention the children are ready to run with the idea, and I’m now even more excited to see what they come up with!

timeline game


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