PYP 3 ushered into the new unit ‘Where we are in place and time’ to look into the civilizations of the past and draw inferences related to practices through time.
Adding a hint of roleplay into the learning experiences for this unit, an elaborate invitation to excavate and retrieve artefacts was orchestrated. On special request, students of PYP 3 were asked to assume the role of archaeologists and conduct a quick excavation at MBIS, as some artefacts and remains of civilizations were rumoured to have been buried somewhere on campus!
The excited class, armed with excavation tools and dressed up in the attire of archaeologists, were determined to discover evidence from the past. The artefacts that were buried, represented the Indus, Egyptian and Roman Civilization. The seals, scripts and pottery styles of these civilizations were represented with the help of the buried evidence.
After a quick brainstorm about the probable location to start the excavation, it was unanimously decided that the school sandpit could be the perfect excavation site! Heading to the sandpit area, learners were brimming with enthusiasm.
With a quick crash course in excavation and a survey of the ‘site’, digging ensued! Calculated predictions were made, the depth of the sand pit was gauged, optimum use of tools was observed, and the determination to strike ‘gold’ was strong!
The class collaborated to retrieve the buried artefacts and shared various informed hypotheses of what the artefacts were, what they represented and what they believe they was used for. These predictions and hypotheses were an excellent way for the class to comprehend how we all inquire into the past, and how archaeologists and paleontologists explore and shed light on life in past times.
With this activity, learners were actively involved in exploring and inquiring into past civilizations, and were also acquainted with how they can hypothesize and draw connections from the evidence they unearthed!
These are some of the experiences and reflections shared by the PYP 3 learners:
“Reflection on are excavation in the sand pit: We had dressed up as archeologists and were going to dig in the sandpit of our school. We were feeling excited as the sandpit was very old and I wondered what might be in there. While digging I was not enthusiastic as I thought there could not be anything in there but as soon as my classmate found our first artifact I was mind blown at the discovery and started participating at once. We found 7 items and my personal favorite was the bull found by Daniel and Soobum. There was this urn which I found which was really cool and every one was wondering what was inside until till we found out that they were bones. We found loads of objects and at the end of it we were tired but happy at our discovery until Miss Michel told us that the teachers had put them there. (miss michel should have kept that secret longer)” – Advait Bhartia
“We found a pot inside there was an old bone that looked like a finger. And the paper and I think that paper was message in hieroglyphics. We were inquirers, curios, enthusiastic, focused” – Dohee Kim
“On Thursday we found a note on the whiteboard. It said to dig in the sand pit so we went there. I was curious to see what was in so I started digging for a long time then me and my friend advait, he and I found something that was a pot with bones in it…” – Zayan Poonawala
“I dug in the sand. I found writing, pot and bone. I had fun.” – Kotaro Takahashi
“We were digging in the school sand pit to find different items that they would use in the past. We got our shovels and started digging we were very curious because we wanted to know what to find, we were excited what will be inside the item. We were also enthusiastic to do this job because it was very fun. We were finding discoveries and pondering what it will be and what use it was for in those days. We were focused because we were willing to do it and we wanted to know what it was!” – Naisha Damani