Posted on March 11, 2012
If King Tut could only see them now. The first and second graders participated in an intensive eight-week inquiry on ancient Egypt to learn how early civilizations developed successful social, political, religious, and economic systems. The inquiry began by finding out what students thought they already knew about ancient Egypt, then learning through reading books and websites. Close reading led to many questions and discoveries, which took the students even deeper into their learning. Along the way, each of the four classes mummified chickens, created death masks, made papyrus sheets on which they painted stories, invented their own hieroglyphs, and made death masks. They wrote, reflected, and wrote again their thinking about their reading. Students shared ideas and learning in small and large groups. In planning their mode of presentation to parents, they prepared timelines, posters, maps, three-dimensional settings, and their speeches. This past Friday, an excited group of students in homemade costumes streamed through the gates as pharaohs, mummies, farmers, scribes, and gods! (See the top of the MPI main page for photos and more information). Even their teachers donned costumes and jewelry, looking quite exotic. There was more to come . . . .
After presentations to audiences of very proud parents, the children walked to the dining room, which had been transformed into an Egyptian hall with hieroglyphs adorning columns and tables laden with fruit and dates, royal blue and gold-colored silverware. The Egyptian citizens took their places at the tables, while room parents served roasted chicken, tehina, falafel, and pita. Along with a royal feast comes entertainment becoming of the pharaohs -- so in came two belly dancers (Willow Chang and Samantha Tavares) who mesmerized the audience with their performance. The students' entire immersion in learning about ancient Egypt, from beginning to end, will be long remembered, I'm sure! For one day, our children re-lived the glory of ancient Egypt.
Children in the preschool found their classroom in disarray with green glitter strewn throughout. We suspect those mischievous leprechauns returned (from last year at about this time) to visit the children. Instead, they brought along a new friend who played on bagpipes, inspiring the children into modern-day jigs. You should have heard their plans to catch the little men in Kelly green. We'll see what contraptions the preschoolers might be building.
This coming Friday, March 16, we celebrate our MPI community at Ho`olaule`a. The annual event, which begins at 11:30am and ends at 6:00pm, features a variety of foods, entertainment, and games for children of all ages. The preschool and elementary students will attend Ho`olaule`a from 11:15am to 1:45pm. All students will return to their classrooms where parents may pick up their children at 2:00pm or at the regular dismissal time. There will be afterschool care as usual. I strongly encourage all MPI families to participate in Ho`olaule`a with your children.
We'll see you at Ho`olaule`a!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey