A cherished tradition in the Learning Village, Grade 1 students set their sights on sandboxes in April in hopes of finding a little something special. What they found were their inner-archeologists, amongst myriad artifacts including beads, gems, beans, necklaces, gold coins, feathers, and statues. In the past, such relics were from the Ancient Pueblo civilization, but this year's finds were indicative of Ancient Egypt.
"We're digging for artifacts and finding beads and stuff from other places and a long time ago," said first grade student Stephen P., who was especially excited when he used his spade to pull out drawing-covered papyrus, in his estimation probably just a piece of a larger puzzle.
Students were each assigned one square of a sandbox to excavate, and kept detailed notes on what and where they found each item. The dig is just one activity in the grade's unit on Egypt.
"We're kicking off our Egyptian unit with an archeological dig. We've been asking, 'Why is archeology important?' and 'What clues can you find?'" said Ms. Heidi Bennett, Grade 1 teacher.
After the digs, the class will make predictions on the uses of each item and what that indicates about the society that used them.
"The more involved and active they are with their own learning, sparks their interests naturally," Bennett said of the active nature of the dig. "We could always tell them a few facts here and there, but when they're really truly engaging and taking charge of their own learning, that's when they're having a deeper understanding and that deeper connection with what they want to learn and they take more ownership of it."