We’ve been up to our ears in projects in Room 5! I believe our latest project was the most engaging. It brought on creativity, engineering with geometry, and so much teamwork! 5th and 6th graders spent the last two and a half weeks planning, building, and testing out their very own marble run roller coasters.
Not a day went by without several students begging me to give them extra time to work on these projects. One of the most important parts of this project was fostering and discussing leadership skills. After about a week of working on this project, we had an important class meeting all about the qualities good leaders possess. Members from each group talked about the leadership they saw forming in each group. It turns out that some of our most shy and reserved students have way more leadership skills than they thought! These students were elated to hear that their group members saw them as natural leaders. Overall, we discussed that leaders have good ideas, are able to delegate tasks in a kind way, make sure everyone feels like they are an important part of the group, and make good use of their time.
By the end of the project, groups were able to start testing out their marble runs. That’s when Room 5 got especially noisy with cheers and the competitive nature of some students really came out. On the night of Open House last week, families and students voted for the strength of each rollercoaster. The next day, we had our official “Roller Coaster Challenge” Day where we timed and tested roller coasters and groups received awards. It was another day filled with cheer and excitement.
The ancient Egyptian mummification process is a lengthy one! It typically lasted around 70 days and began by first removing all of the organs from the body. The organs were then washed, dried, and placed into containers called canopic jars that were eventually buried with the body. A salt mixture found along the Nile River was used to help the drying and preservation process of both the body and the organs. After, the bodies were wrapped in linen and placed in their coffin.
In Room 5 this month, we didn’t do all that, but we did complete a project which taught us all about this process. After collecting all the Pringles cans we needed, 5th and 6th graders got to work adding paper mache, paint, hieroglyphics, and one of the four Sons of Horus heads on each can. We then did a simple science experiment to see which ingredient preserved apples (our “organs”) the best: baking soda, vinegar, or salt.
Earlier this month, we also had fun with an art project. After learning all about the jobs and roles of Ancient Egyptians, students traced over images showing the specific jobs they learned about. We used thick gauge foil and dull pencils on a thick pad of newspaper to create beautiful relief drawings. Students then used colorful Sharpies to make designs in the background. They turned out beautiful!