The MYP Individuals and Societies (Humanities) department have been working hard on a variety of history-themed units this semester.
In Grade 6 they have been learning about Early Man and made life-size posters of early hominids, such as Australopithecus and Homo hablis, which evolved through four million years to become modern Homo sapiens. In conjunction with this they are working on their end of unit summative assessments which will be group presentations about what they think early man’s greatest invention or discovery was. Thus far various groups have chosen to investigate the importance of farming, kilns, metal-working, writing and fire. It promises to be enlightening.
In Grade 7 the students have studied about Ancient Egypt and have done research into different kinds of pyramids, ancient gods and goddesses and famous – or infamous - pharaohs. For their final summative assessment, they will produce as CSI-type investigation into the death of the boy-king Tutankhamun with theories abounding as to his early death at 18. Was it death by chariot accident, malaria or a deliberate blow to the back of his head? The truth awaits.
Grade 9 have been learning about the events leading up to WWI in 1914 such as the Moroccan crises of 1905 and 1911 and the rise of militarism in a divided Europe. They have used their research skills to also investigate individual countries and their leaders who would later plunge the world into a ‘great’ conflagration whose scale and barbarity were at the time unprecedented. Their summative task is to reimagine a ‘What if…?’ scenario where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not assassinated in 1914 and the war never started. Would WWI have happened anyway? Hmm, let’s see what they come up with.
Finally Grade 10 have been analyzing the major conferences of 1945 – Yalta and Potsdam - which were the harbingers of the end of world War II. To this end they examined the motives – both explicit and hidden - of such figures as Stalin of Russia, Churchill of Great Britain and Franklin Roosevelt of the USA. This led on to debates at the relative merits of their opposing political systems of democracy and communism and how these helped shaped post-war Europe and the world. The Cold War awaits in their next unit!