On Tuesday, sixth grade students engaged in hands-on learning in a unique way as they experienced a walk through the Ancient World. The material came alive through storytelling as students portrayed historical people of the past, such as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Socrates. Additionally, maps, timelines, and games helped foster creative expression, note-taking, and vocabulary development.
“Students were given an opportunity to engage and participate in the ‘journey’ through the Ancient Civilizations which allowed them to make deeper connections that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” shared Miss Fay, sixth grade teacher. “A hands-on participatory experience gives the students an opportunity to not just learn about the material, but also take part in it in some way. My students didn’t just learn about the Romans’ daily lifestyles, they “lived it” by acting out a skit depicting what a normal day for a Roman might have contained. Students didn’t just learn a bunch of facts about Queen Nefertiti. They got to hear from a student who was dressed up as the queen herself and acting how they pictured she would have been thousands of years ago.”
California Weekly Explorer is the organization SCCS partners with for these experiences and their content meets sixth grade history standards. They teach sixth grade history content with enthusiasm by providing the kids with many hands-on and interactive opportunities, keeping them engaged with the material throughout the whole presentation.
“Our partners at California Weekly Explorer do a great job of walking them through three of the most powerful Ancient Civilizations in our history curriculum: Egypt, Greece, and Rome,” shared Miss Hovey, sixth grade teacher. “In the span of about three hours, the kids learn from each other and from their guide about key characters, vocabulary, places, and events from 3000BC to 0 on the timeline. It is truly amazing how much learning is packed into those three hours. California Weekly does a great job of making the kids active participators in their own learning.”
Currently, sixth graders are studying Ancient Civilizations. The class started with Genesis 1-3, Mesopotamia and Egypt, and this semester they will be continuing with Israel, Greece, and Rome.
“I enjoy watching the kids get so excited about the Ancient Civilizations and what they are learning,” continued Miss Fay. “They are all engaged every moment of the presentation, and anyone watching can tell that they are enjoying themselves.”
To help solidify the content, the students took on the personas of characters in history and presented information about them in front of their peers. They also did their own research in groups on the three different countries to teach one another about the culture and daily life of people living in these countries in the past.
“It really is so wonderful seeing the students excited to dress up and present in front of their peers,” continued Miss Hovey. “It is always a joy to see them collaborate with one another and put together a presentation to teach others about their countries. I love watching their personalities shine through in their skits.”
Miss Fay and Miss Hovey both enjoy teaching this age group and watching them take more ownership of their learning. There’s an additional element of joy that comes with teaching about the ancient world since the Bible shares information on these times and cultures.
“I love learning about the ancient world, and I want to help students love and appreciate it as much as I do,” shared Miss Fay. “I love teaching this material through the lens of scripture and teaching my sixth graders how to check historical accounts with the accounts of Scripture, since the Bible is in fact, history.”