In their last unit Grade 6 learnt about Ancient Greece in Individuals and Societies and have researched and presented about various aspects of society at that time and learnt about many of the famous battles that took place. Perhaps the most famous was the Battle of Thermopylae which took place in 480BCE and pitted just 300 mighty Spartan warriors against 200,000 Persian soldiers led by the 'god-king' Xerxes. Here is an excerpt of what Grade 6 student Anna Gale wrote of this famous encounter in her fabulous summative assessment essay, in which she had to imagine she was there and write a first person account of her ordeal; blood, guts and all.
"In the early morning as the sun was thumb high off the horizon, the Persians attacked. They sent wave after wave of simple soldiers (not yet their best warriors), and we defeated them easily."
Later she writes, SPOILER Alert, if you do not know the outcome of the battle. "I woke up much later with bodies plied on top of me. I will never forget that terrible stench. I felt the ground shake as if there was an army running over it. In fact there was. In that moment I realized that the Persians had won. In shock I blacked out again."
Ask her if you can read it yourself; it is like being there in person. Great job Anna and all those in the class who wrote these great empathy essays.
Meanwhile Grade 7 learnt about population (how many people) and demographics (how old they are) in their last unit and how to read a population pyramid. For example if they looked at the pyramid below they would now be able to tell you that this country - Botswana in southern Africa - has a very high birth rate, because of a lack of education, and people die young because of poor medical facilities.
As an activity they then had to use their critical thinking skills to fix the ills of Botswana, which they did with varying degrees of success according to our esteemed guest Julian Penstone, who has spent many years in the country. It was a fascinating few weeks, and hopefully they now know a little bit more about how the world works.