Fourth Grade Students Take an Integrated Look at Neolithic Settlements

DSC_9043 Ross fourth graders are currently engaged in a study of early human life, focusing on human migration and its implications on cultural expression and diversity. Though Ross’s integrated curriculum, the students examine the material through multiple domains, including English, Math, Science, Cultural History, Media Studies and Technology, and Visual Arts. This comprehensive, integrated approach deepens their understanding of early human society and its impact on later generations.

Students began by examining nonverbal communication forms like storytelling and pictograms, as well as exploring Neolithic social systems, lifestyles, and rituals. They then created migration journals for fictional characters who would have lived between 10,000 and 3,500 BCE. Their illustrated works will be displayed at Hampton Library in Bridgehampton during the 24th Annual Budding Authors Reception next month.

After investigating different nomadic cultures and the development of permanent settlements, students are in the process of creating documentary film stories to convey what they’ve learned. They have collected research, acquired art and images, and are preparing voice-over scripts and storyboards to structure their videos. Informing their work is a science project in which students simulate the process of an archaeological excavation, digging, cataloging, and analyzing their findings just as archaeologists do when studying ancient settlements.

Catal Huyuk Blueprint

Students are also applying math and technology studies to their exploration of neolithic culture. They are using what they learn about polygonal shapes to design blueprints for their settlements. After mapping out the general layout of the settlement, students practice calculating the area and perimeter of each geometric figure in their space. These blueprints serve as the basis for models of their settlements, which they are creating both with analog media (such as paint and clay) and digital tools (like Google Sketch-Up—a standard program used in building industries). Ultimately, pieces of their designs will be 3D-printed for presentation.

The students will present what they’ve learned from their unit at an all-school assembly at Ross Lower School on April 4 at 1:30pm.