School has started and I am so happy to be back in the classroom! I have an amazing group of First Graders and we are all excited about the year ahead. This is the magical year for learning to read and so I begin our First Grade adventure by asking the children to think about two important questions: Why do we use our particular alphabet for reading and writing? And why and how did people start putting down thoughts onto something concrete? Thus begins our unit on the Ancients…one of my favorites!
We begin our study of the Ancients with cave paintings, creating our own with paint, sand and oil pastels. We draw our favorite animals and wonder why these first artists painted theirs. Morning Meeting is held around a make believe campfire and we discuss and debate which continent we would walk to if land bridges were still available!
Eventually we come to understand that there were Hunters and Gatherers who liked settling down and when they did, they invented a way to keep track of their goods. Can you imagine the excitement onday? We pound and mold our clumps of clay into squares and with little pointed sticks, carve the oldest form of writing into them. The excitement continues as we visit ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, ancient Chinese characters and finally, the Phoenicians, who invented our original alphabet. As the last Phoenician ship sails into history, we are ready for our ultimate A-Z adventure: learning to read and write!