Every once in awhile the stars align and present an opportunity to add breadth and depth to the learning experience by finding ways to bridge the disciplines of Math, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts through Arts Immersion.
With Year 8 students studying the Spanish conquest of Mexico, we decided to plan our Arts Immersion using themes that complimented the subject matter across disciplines.
In Social Studies, students are creating a Minecraft world based on the Aztec empire to re-create alternative histories, re-enacting scenarios to observe alternative outcomes and speculating about how these changes might alter society today.
In Math, students are using real-world examples from history that are based on Spanish exploration and Aztec farming to create charts and graphs.
In Language Arts, students are creating “The Hero’s Shadow,” which is a heroic legend based on the idea of the Monomyth, relating to the Spanish conquests of the Aztecs. They will be creating a narrative and performance piece using shadow puppets and dance based on their learning.
In Science, students are looking at the engineering of the city of Tenochtitlan and Spanish galleons to find examples of where simple machines were used to perform necessary tasks. They will be engineering Rube-Goldberg machines that reflect the art and creativity of both the Spanish and the Aztec cultures, using levers, pulleys, gears, inclined planes and counter-weights while making comparisons to actual machines used 1519.
All aspects of these activities will be compiled on a website at all phases of the process which will regularly be updated to show the ongoing results. http://caaaztecs.wix.com/caaaztecsspanish