Archive for October, 2009

“London Burns!” (circa 1666), Zach’s 5th Grade Project

We are learning so much in 5th grade!  Zach and I just love our history curriculum – “The Story of the World” by Susan Wise Bauer.  Ms. Bauer’s volume on Early Modern Times (1600 – 1850) presents a broad look at key events across the globe – events happening simultaneously in Japan, Africa, the Netherlands, England, South America, China, India and all the other corners of the globe I am sure I learned about, but have sadly forgotten.  Two weeks ago we studied Japan’s decision to close its borders to foreigners – out of fear that the ambitious empires of Europe, embroiled in the Thirty Years War, would turn their attention to empire building in the east.  Last week we were at the building of the Taj Mahal (completed in 1648) in India, and the opening of the first British port city – later renamed Calcutta) – and this week to the Great Fire of London (1666).

In the 21st century, we know “it’s a small world after all”, but in looking back at the 1600s with a wide lens, we trace the interconnectedness of the empires, nations and kingdoms that shaped the world for centuries to come.

And so, with this week’s lesson, Zach delighted in preparing his city scape – anticipating the big moment when it could be burned to the ground.  Experiential learning definitely has advantages!  Zach decided to make a movie of his project – the first few minutes explain more about the London fire – then it’s off to the carport to burn his diorama.

You can watch the full video below.

ZK fire

Zach's Zen Garden

Zach's Zen Garden