Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Land Bridges

My eighth grade US History class is studying explorers and early civilizations. As a close to the unit on early civilizations, I gathered supplies and my classes proceeded to make land bridges - Berengia. I purchased pie plates from the local Walmart. I had lots of clay left over from a previous project and I divided the class into groups of three and gave each group two colors of clay.

They used the map in our text as a guide and they flattened and sculpted the clay into their rendition of the continents. After arranging the continents, they placed them in the pie plates. I borrowed a sno-cone machine and crushed a lot of ice. They covered up their continents with ice making sure the bridges were well covered.

The project went a lot quicker than I had anticipated. We had to wait a little bit to put them in the freezer and that allowed the ice to begin to melt. When they froze, we a great ice age replica. Today, I took the projects out of the freezer and was able to slide each project out the pan. They looked like stain glass.

This allowed us to look at each project and see the arrangements of continents. We were able to critique the projects as a group and discuss any problems we saw as well as compliment the designs of their classmates.

It was a nice beginning of the year project. I arranged the groups randomly and they had to learn to work with new classmates. Next year, I will divide them into groups of two instead of three. The work would evenly distributed with partners.

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