This week we began our Silk Road Study, this is part one.
We had an awesome visit at Denver Museum of Nature and Science exhibit. It is called Traveling the Silk Road. It was most interesting visit. We got to learn a lot about major stops of the Great Silk Road. We learned about market life, means of transportation, tales and perils.I highly recommend this exhibition, it is on for another month.
Before visiting the museum we watched TED video about Silk Road
I decided to use Marco Polo’s travels as a guideline for our study. A biography video for Marco Polo can be found here. I got a very good book at the museum’s shop. Marco Polo for Kids: His Marvelous Journey to China by Janise Herbert. This book is great, it talks about Marco Polo’s travels and provides around 20 activities.
This week we talked about Marco setting off on his journey. Children created a medieval map. We looked at a few old maps and tried to re-create them, not forgetting to include monsters that lurked in the seas and lands long ago. The fact that we visited Mythic Creatures exhibit earlier this week helped a lot. Children painted their maps on paper grocery bags, I made little boats for them out of polymer clay.
Our next stop this week was Turkey. We located it on the map, learned a bit about its history, practiced saying simple words in Turkish( a video for common words and phrases can be found here)
We talked about carpets that were made there (children actually got a couple of souvenir bookmarks from the exhibition) and children found it fascinating that making of a carpet could take months. We tried cereal box weaving at home. It is very simple to make a loom cut a large rectangle out of a cardboard box, make notches to string the yarn and start weaving using yarn, fabric or embroidery thread. Children used grandma’s knitting left overs.
Children loved this project.
We also visited Denver Mint this week and besides learning how the coins are made, we had a chance to discuss what was used as a payment among the traders of long ago.
This was first part of our learning about the Great Silk Road, stay tuned for more.