Upper students bring history to life

From feudalism and hieroglyphics to castles and sculptures, students in the Upper Elementary 4 classroom have done a deep dive into ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Not only did students choose a topic to research, but they created a project to share their learning with classmates. Cooper, a sixth grader, created puppets to depict the history of Jerusalem. His favorite learning from his peers was that stairs were built to turn to the right so that enemies running up the stairs in battle would have less room to swing their swords.
Two fifth graders undertook the commission of recreating the famous sculpture of David. While Matilda used air dry clay, Alyssa attempted to carve the masterpiece from wood. Alyssa said that they faced some challenges in their work as 'sculpting' wood was a lot harder than they expected and the wood split and had to be glued back together. Matilda queried, "Did you know Michelangelo's David was originally supposed to be on the roof of the church, but because he was naked the elders decided to display him in the courtyard?" These young ladies learned a lot about the artist and the difficulties they face in their trade. What plans do they have for their finished work? "We have decided to place our finished sculptures in Venice....Ohio!" they squealed with delight.
"Did you know that the Huns never touched the ground? They ate and slept on their horses." explained fourth grader, Owen, as he pointed out the path the Huns traveled on the map he created. Owen shared that most people know of Atilla the Hun, but don't really realize that he was the leader of an entire tribe of people who assailed the Roman Empire in 450 AD. 
The Renaissance cannot be studied without mentioning great artists. Eva, a fifth year student, proudly shared her research that included highlighting the first female painter, Sofonisba Anguissola. While she loved the work she did on her own studies, Eva said that visiting the museum gave her a new appreciation. "There was one painting that was so cool! No matter which direction you moved, it seemed like the whole face was following you along." she said.
Caston, a fourth grader, was very intrigued by the methods and behaviors of the knights. "They didn't use plates to eat, they used pieces of stale bread instead!" He enthusiastically shared. He continued to describe how the bread would soak up the juices and then they would either feed it to the animals or consume it themselves. Caston also was quite knowledgeable about the jousting methodology. "The depictions we normally see were not battles, they were for entertainment and practice for the knights." He said. 
To culminate this study, the class traveled to the Toledo Museum of Art to observe and appreciate period works of art. Inspiring students to reach their potential through meaningful work, in a Montessori environment, is our mission, THIS is what it looks like in practice.
*Check out all of the photos at this link