Thursday, March 1, 2012

The history of writing

This is our first activity in the series “the history of writing”. We are following along the history units of the history of civilization, focusing on a “hands on” approach to the subject of handwriting, as emphasized in Maria Montessori’s “Five great Lessons”.

In this particular activity we replicate “cuneiform writing” developed by the Sumerians around the 30th century BC.

These are the materials we used

-          A wooden dowel, one end shaped as a wedge
-          A print of the cuneiform alphabet
-          A package of crayola magic model sculpey (any type of modeling clay would work)
- A small cutting board
-          A tray to contain all the materials.

After a brief introduction and explanation, we explore together the cuneiform signs, noting that they are basically composed of two shapes repeated and combined so as to form all the letters needed for their language.

After practicing this two shapes on the clay, we smooth it again and my DS suggested trying to write his on name on it. 

We left it to air dry and continue discussing how the storage of these tables would have been. We ended the activity by watching some pictures of actual tablets. (found here)

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