Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Start Writing

Today's lesson was mainly about writing.  How did it originate?  How does written language work?  What ancient languages should students be familiar with in this class?

I started the lesson by connecting it to previous learning.

Students came in and had to quickly draw two pictures.  One picture depicted the reasons ancient civilizations were found near rivers.  The other picture showed some of what helps anthropologists qualify a civilization as a civilization.

Here are the pictures.  We're all artists:

If you weren't here today, you should draw these and show them to me tomorrow.  If you were here, don't worry about it.  That's not the requirement for extra credit.

Hopefully most students already knew this - as Mr. Helmuth taught it to them.  I know they spent quite a bit of time checking out Hammurabi's Code.  You know - the code of laws for Mesopotamia.

Written language (a system of writing) is crazy.  It's like magic.  Most of you are probably reading this right now.  RIGHT NOW.  You just read that.  I wrote this a while ago, and you're reading it now.  That's a big deal.  And you can read it again if you want to.  (Ok... rereading this paragraph might seem a little pointless...  but I'm sure some of you just did...)

Obviously, when writing first came about, not everyone could do it.  Scribes must have looked like magicians.

We discussed writing coming from ideograms and pictograms.  Hieroglyphs.  We looked at the move to symbols representing sounds.  Phonetics.   The Phoenicians.  We discussed how ancient languages started as a mnemonic device - and that we still use ideograms, pictograms, and mnemonic devices today.

Obviously, we covered a lot more in 45 minutes, but I don't want to overwhelm you - you were here.  I just want you to talk to the adult you read this with and tell them how class went.  You could also mention the maps we looked at (on population/ population density) or what we read on the SMARTboard.

If you've read and discussed the blog and want extra credit.  Write a sentence or two from your discussion.  Then, have the adult you read and discussed with sign the paper.

Turn it in tomorrow in the extra credit tray.

See you then.  What a great day!  Am I right?

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